Rhinos can be pretty feisty! When provoked, they aggressively defend their territory by flinging dung and charging head first at intruders.
But it looks like they also know when to back down.
Photographer Joe Gregory was on safari when he unexpectedly captured the moment when a couple of elephants approach a solitary white rhino. Then, things got tense.
As one of the elephants playfully balances a stick on its head, the rhino backs away cautiously. Even with its thick skin and a long front horn averaging 35 inches, it’s no match for a massive elephant.
Weighing up to 15,000 pounds, African elephants are about three times the size of rhinos!
For a moment, the rhino seems to forget this and charges toward the elephant. Unfazed, the massive creature picks up the stick with its trunk and tosses it toward the rhino.
Since rhinos have notoriously poor vision, this guy probably didn’t see exactly what went down. But as the stick clattered off to its left, it was clearly spooked enough to retreat.
“The sighting ended in a stalemate with no winner. I would, however, say the balancing act of the branch and the elephant ‘throwing’ the branch at the rhino was a somewhat cheeky ending to the tussle,” Gregory told Latest Sightings. He added, “I believe they both showed their belonging in the area with mutual respect, making both of them ultimate winners.”
Rhinos and elephants are both herbivores with no need to hunt other species, so they usually get along pretty well. But when they get in each other’s way, only one will win.