Friday, January 05, 2007

Elephants vs Lions guess who wins









Click the above link to see Lions and elephants get it on




I have always had a great love and interest in wild life. Over the years I have spent many years learning about animals from Pbs nature
, Marty Stouffers wild america, National geographic magazines and the encylopedia brittanica.

Now I had been aware for years that lions would take out baby elephants as well as sick adults. But until Id read this article a few months back I had no idea that lions actively hunted adult elephants. Usually from the many nature shows I remember featuring lions and elephants it had quite often appeared that when the elephants rolled through the lions would split quick fast and a hurry. This led me to niavely believe that adult elephants had nothing to fear from lions unless sick or injured.


Turns out that lions when living in extreme drought conditions and when thier normal pray sources are scarce will sometimes resort to the desperate measure of hunting elephants. One unusually large pride cailled the savuti pride who roll 32 strong were first observed eating and gorging themselves on a sick elephant while the elephant was still alive. It took over a day for the elephant to die from its injuries. After that the lions moved on to killing babies, then sub adults then finally adults including full grown bull elephants. Out of 270 attacks on elephants over 70 of them resulted in the death of the elephants usually babies, and juveniles with some adults mixed in.


I have seen lions hunting giraffes and zebras and I have seen lions getting the living sh#t kicked out of them, in fact zebras are fully capable of breaking a lions jaw in one swith powerful kick. Ive have also seen them gored while trying to hunt buffalo but it turns out that out of over 270 attacks on elephants by the savuti river pride only one lion was injured and that happened when an elephant under attack fell on the lion. Turns out that the elephants were able to mount zero offense after bieng attack by the savuti river pride. I had always respected the big powerful elephant the ultimate warrior physically and intellectually of the animal world . Well, it turns out that elephants have virtually no protection from lions other than thier enourmous size and bulk. Bulk and thier herding nature when threatened are thier only protection from lions. Also most of these attacks took place at night when the elephants are disadvantaged because of thier poor night vision. The lions (like most nocturnal predators) have excellent night time vision and are built to to hunt at night which means when most of these attacks took place all 32 lions of the savuti pride could see what they were doing the elephants whos night vision is no better than humans could not.

It turns out that although elephants are the largest and strongest of all land animals they were created with a design flaw. Thier size makes them slow and cumbersome, lions are able to dart in and out of the range of the elephants tusk and trunk to scratch and bite and claw the elephants until they are taken down at which point the fat lady has sung. These attacks are marathon assualts resulting in prolonged death sometimes lasting hours after the elephant has been initially taking down. The beat down that the savuti pride of lions have been delivering to elephants in south africa is indeed worthy of crowning lions the king of Jungle. In fact Ill even officially crown their asses

11 comments:

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

Elephants will whip a lion in a one on won fight most of the time. It takes many lions to kill one elephant most of the time.

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

how are you doing MarK I well and swell.

By Chance

Bullfrog said...

Interesting stuff Mark, thanks for sharing.

I too always assumed elephants had no natural predators unless weak or injured. I guess hunger will make a lion gamble a bit.

mark said...

How you doing bullfrog, I hope your holidays have been a very happy time for your family.

I was very suprised when I first saw this footage I was suprised I expected more from elephants. Thank you for stopping by.

mark said...

Yo Chance you are correct a single lion cannot take out elephant but prides rolling 30 deep can do serious damage to whatever animals they run into.

I wonder how the elephants will adapt to sauvuti pride. I know that all large animals kill lion cubs including elephants. In fact I read one report of an elephant playing with a dead lion club. Elephants are the intellectuals of the animal world so Im wondering If these attacts dont make elephants even more aggressive toward lions.

I can imagine what an elephant will do too a sick and immobized lion. It cant be pretty. Thanks for stopping by chance.

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

You are welcome Mark

Anonymous said...

attacks by lions on HEALTHY adult elephants are very rare, and lion attacks are almost nonexistent on HEALTHY adult MALE elephants..When the elephants form a defensive circle against lions, the game is up and not even a crazy lion will attack...

Anonymous said...

the elephant in the footage is a rather small , young female who has gotten isolated from the herd.. male elephants challenge lions regularly and the lions do the smart thing --they back down.. predators are opportunistic and lions weigh the odds very carefully..

Anonymous said...

This is an aberration involving a very large pride filled with many males and an enormous concentration of elephants. The only reason the lions can take any is that the elephants are nearly blind at night. Cull the pride a bit and this will end. If it doesn't you may find elephants eventually attacking and killing lion cubs as the opportunity arises.

Anonymous said...

Plus the fact there a hundreds of elephants and a very limited amount of water in the Savute region. This results in the elephants being weakened.

Plus the Savute pride hasn't killed any HEALTHY ADULT MALE elephants, even though they have tried about 100 or so times in a range of a year.

Anonymous said...

Elephants are huge, strong animals and I love them and i have dedicated almost my whole lives on studying these majestic Giants, and I sadly as well have come across these reports. Thogh from most of what I have read, watched and studied even sick and ingured elephants have nothing to fear of lions. Even without the protection of the herd. Though I have watched a video on YouTube which su prized me. A small healthy adult female elephant was attacke by a pride of eight lions, and I watched the lions bring the estimated two and a half ton giant to her knees. Until her she had enough of the attack and almost effertlessly got back up and ran away. Even though the wounded elephant had the odds against her being so small, outnumbered eight to one, in the middle of the night, during a drought I was still suprised the lions actually brought the female to her knees. Also the lion on elephant attacks you are talking about is in Savute or Savuti Botswana. Savuti used to be one of the driest places in Africa with little prey so lions adapted to hunting elephants. Almost all being young elephants. Possibly a few teens and young adults were probably also token down but I cannot imagine from my understanding lions taking on adult elephants. Unless very sick or wounded lacking the protection of a herd. Not to mention bull elephants have nothing to fear from lions. In fact you can obviously tell due to there attitude towards them. Unlike the females who avoid lions, and on contact chase them in protection of the young, the Bulls dimply ignore there presence and even confidently turn ther backs to the hungry Savuti prides. I have also seen a very desperate lioness attack a bull elephant from a tree and he did not even seem to care. Another thing I saw was an elderly male attacked by another bull in competition for water and the bull could not get up. So the Savuti pride cautiously jumped on and off of him in fear in desperation. It took the lions almost three days to kill him and the whole time they were eating him alive. Now I didn't even get to mention that elephants elsewhere have no fear what so ever of lions. (Unless we're speaking of calves and mothers) Also Savutis fierce drought is now over and elephants once again have very little to fear of lions. Thought the herds are scared. One more thing. The elephant herds that were the victims of attacks had younger less expeirenec matriarchs because of ivory poaching. Since elephant poachers kill the matriarch first to panic the herd, the eldest of her daughters is forced to take over, and if you had studied further into your compelling report you would have found that most of botswanas elephants come from broken herds traveling south from to escape ivory poaching and had nothing to fear of lions where they came from. Plus without ther valued matriarch the herd has less knowledge from her past life of possibly 60years. In her lifespan she would have been taught and experienced lion attacks.