Footage from a tourist in Africa captured a real life clash of the titans as two bull elephants engaged in a fierce battle for dominance.
The Daily Mail reports American tourist Kathryn Bakken was on a safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta in November when she encountered a pair of the largest land animals in the world, duking it out for mating rights.
The bull elephants clash tusks and send dust flying in their epic contest, mere feet from the safari group. The brutal confrontation left both combatants bloody, and appears to have even cost one elephant his tusk.
Bakken said the elephants would tussle for several minutes, occasionally separating only to perform displays of power such as feinting a charge or trampling the surrounding bushes and trees. Baked also stated that, at one frightening moment, an elephant broke off and approached their safari vehicle. Fortunately, the bull decided they weren’t a threat, and returned to a worthier opponent.
Bakken said the brawl carried on for over an hour, although elephant fights in the wild can often carry on for much longer. To the victor goes the spoils – the right to mate with his chosen female. The loser can be left with nothing, and may even die as a result of his injuries.
“It is a humbling experience to be so close to two animals, as big as houses, slamming around next to you,” Bakken said. She says the experience left her in awe, yet with a odd sense of sadness over the injuries suffered by the animals.
“But it was natural behavior, and not something horrible like hunting or poaching, so you try to come to terms with the brutality of nature,” she said.