Friday, January 05, 2007
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