Rhinos and elephants are both herbivores who can usually co-exist peacefully. But when resources are scarce, these two giant animals have a little less tolerance for each other in their space.
Susan Boswell, a member of the nonprofit Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife, captured this dramatic video of an elephant defending a small patch of vegetation from a group of three hungry rhinos during a drought in South Africa’s Limpopo Province.
When the rhinos first approach, the elephant tries charging directly toward them, but that doesn’t seem to work. The unwelcome visitors persist and come even closer to munch on a tiny bit of grass. Rhinos have notoriously poor eyesight, so perhaps they couldn’t quite make out the threat.
The clever elephant then escalates the situation with makeshift weapons — expertly using its trunk to toss a stick and clumps of dirt at the rhinos, while keeping a safe distance from the horned beasts.
Eventually, the rhinos get the message and scamper off, leaving the triumphant elephant to dine alone.
While their intimidating horns, brute strength and incredible speed would scare off most other animals, rhinos have plenty of reasons to be cautious when a massive elephant gets aggressive. As the largest land animals on Earth, African elephants can cause serious damage to even the toughest rhinoceros.
“With wildlife, you can never predict how animals are going to behave,” Boswell told Caters News. “Elephants are the bigger more aggressive animals than rhinos and they usually get what they want.”