Given their sheer size and strength, elephants typically strike fear into the hearts of most other animals. But sometimes even they have to be cautious — as trouble can come from the most unexpected places.
This video captures two separate, but rare encounters when a family of elephants is attacked by a massive lurking crocodile while taking a drink at a watering hole.
In the first, the herd can be heard bellowing loudly as the juvenile attempts to shake itself loose from the colossal crocodile’s grip. An older individual — perhaps the matriarch — eventually steps forward to scare off the reptile and the juvenile manages to escape relatively unharmed.
The other encounter is over just as quickly with the massive elephant managing to fend of the croc and escape.
Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal, measuring up to 5,000 pounds per square inch — and once their jaws snap shut, their victims have a tough time escaping. These ambush predators wait quietly beneath the water for their unsuspecting prey to get close before lunging out of the water and grabbing the animal.
They are opportunistic hunters, and large adults will take down big mammals like antelope and zebras when they can, but rarely do they target elephants. When they are brave enough to try, crocodiles know better than to go after the adults, who are several times their size and can fight back against the croc’s go-to killing mechanism: pinning their prey beneath the water’s surface until they drown.
In the battle of crocs vs elephants, these hungry reptiles are simply biting off more than they can chew.