An impressive confrontation between a lion and a herd of elephants was captured on camera.
Lion pride in Chobe National Park, Botswana, was tracked by British photographer James Gifford, who witnessed one of the lionesses jump onto the back of the young elephant.
However, the lioness was not strong enough to take down the calf on her own, and by the time her support animal arrived, the herd of elephants was already there to protect the young.
“I’ve been tracking pride for a while in hopes of catching them hunting,” James said.
“When I saw the elephants coming towards me, the lions lay low, but I was still surprised that the herd did not change their course.
“Despite the lack of protection, the elephants didn’t seem to notice the lions, or if they did, they didn’t see them as a threat.
“Pride wouldn’t stand any chance against the herd, so they wait until the adults pass before a few lionesses take the opportunity to attack a youngster on their own—Some distance behind the others.
“The unfortunate youngster received the fear of her life, but although one of the lionesses successfully jumped on its back, she was unable to bring it down on her own.
“It was important that a second female came to help only 10 seconds later, by which time the brief window of opportunity was closed.
“The calves fled to the safety of the herd, and when she was within about 20 meters, the lionesses abandoned the attack knowing that if they got too close to the adult elephants, they would risk serious injury.”