Never cross paths with a matriarchal elephant. This buffalo made the mistake, and paid the ultimate price.
Elephants and buffaloes can usually co-exist in harmony. But as this sequence of images show, a matriarchal elephant was not about to play nice.
Kimberly Maurer, who recently toured Kenya’s Masai Mara with Rhino Safari tours, was lucky to have her camera at the ready when the dramatic action unfolded.
According to Maurer, shortly after entering the reserve they spotted a small herd of elephants. Leading the group was a female sporting a single tusk. Less than 20 feet from the road, and asleep under a bush, was a Cape buffalo. The tour guide surmised that it was likely sick or injured.
It was then that the buffalo stood up, which elicited a response from the female elephant – and culminated in both animals clashing head to head. The buffalo was no match for the elephant and dropped to its knees in defeat.
Unwilling to walk away, the elephant then charged – skewering the already weak buffalo clear through – and with one might heave, lifted its opponent up over her head. She then slammed it down to the ground.
The dramatic encounter was over in less than a minute, but the damage was done. The buffalo was left with severe wounds and died a short time later.
Nature is far from pretty. And protecting your family – especially in the wilds of Africa – always comes first.
All photos courtesy of Kimberly Maurer/Rhino Africa