This baby elephant was lucky enough to have survived after a crocodile tried to bite off its trunk – only to let its mother come to the rescue.
In the real-life version of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, this calf splashed at the shallow end of a watering hole in the African bush. The crocodile jumped out of the water and clamped its trunk.
The rest of the herd, in amazement, stood around, blowing their horns and sniffing as they fought to save the helpless baby elephant from the attack.
The little baby elephant defeated the reptile and stumbled back to fight the challenge, leaving the panicked crocodile sinking into the murky water.
The astounding images have been taken by a Zimbabwean farmer and astute amateur photographer Francois Borman by Mana Pools in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley.
Francois, 48, said: ‘I’ve been out in the dust for a few hours waiting for some action – but this is the last thing I look forward to seeing!
‘I have great expectations when I hold the camera out, and the sight is truly amazing to see.
‘I saw a herd of elephants coming down to drink – a local crocodile spotted them and spent some time sizing them, stalking the little one playing in the countryside.
‘The baby elephant is clearly expecting a drink because it runs straight in and drops itself into the shallow, muddy water, rolling around and splashing.’
He added: ‘It doesn’t have to worry in the world, and it certainly doesn’t think about the dangers that can lurk in the murky waters.
‘The calf was still very young and did not know how to use the trunk for drinking – it knelt and drank water with his mouth until, at one point, he got up and stretched the trunk into the water to drink it.
‘Suddenly, the crocodile launched himself onto the baby elephant’s trunk, gripping – it was a messy situation.
‘The calf gave a bloody scream and started his fight for his life with the crocodile.
‘Time stood still as the calf struggled, and with great determination, almost immediately pulled the crocodile out of the water.
‘The other elephants rushed towards it, and the crocodile finally let the calf go.
‘I was so excited when I saw my pictures – I just knew they were special.
‘Wildlife photographers spend a lot of time waiting around, waiting and hoping for that particular sight – shots like these are the rewards.’