Do you think this elephant can win against a pride of lions?
Cynthia Mack, 55, had a first-hand account of a tough day in the African bushveld under blue skies at the Hwange National Park.
Cynthia told latestsightings.com: “We were staying at Little Makololo, my favorite spot in the world. We were sitting at a waterhole and I noticed in the far off distance there was a grey object "jumping" back in the tree line. We pulled out the binos and saw it was a young male elephant all by himself (about 5-8 years from the size of his little tusks). He appeared to be limping. It was a sweltering day and we knew he would be heading for the waterhole to quench his thirst. We also knew there were 3 young lions on a nearby mound not far off as we had just photographed them so we decided to "wait and see" what may happen..."
"WOW, the emotions were raw. To see this poor little ellie that had an infected knee joint hobbling to get to the waterhole, and then seeing in the distance "1" of these young lions (they were subadult about 24 months or so according to our guide Themba) we never could have envisioned how this played out. The ellie saw the one lion approaching him and he trumpeted but the lion came at the ellie and simply jumped on him and knocked him to the ground because of that infected knee. No matter how hard the young ellie tried to roll himself back upright, he just couldn't succeed. Then the other lion joined the first and finally, the third lion came along."
"It was horrible watching them try to figure out how to kill this poor little ellie, and how that ellie struggled for over 3 hours, even trying to roll himself over as his intestines were pulled out of the rear of his little body. I personally went from tears to fascination, as these 3 lions casually tried to figure out how to suffocate and kill this little ellie. The biggest shock was when a huge bull elephant started heading towards the water and we thought, finally he would be saved, the big bull will scare off the young lions and rescue this ellie.... but instead that big bull was frightened off by the 3 young lions! We watched in horror as he went around to the other side of the waterhole and drank, while the lions continued to rip that little ellie apart. From tears to fascination for hours... we realized we had seen something quite rare and we felt a great privilege to have witnessed this heart gripping sighting..."
"After the lions pulled out the elephant's intestines and continued "slowly killing" him, the little ellie finally succumbed to his sad death. The next day the adult female (now called Stubby tail who later mated with Xander) came to eat what the 3 young lions left behind... along with vultures and hyena..."
"We've been blessed to have been on about 9-10 month long safaris since 2004 and have never witnessed anything like this. Themba who has been a guide in Hwange NP for 18 years, has never ever seen lions there take an elephant down like this."
"Don't flee at the first sight of the kill, while it may be hard to watch it is part of the bush experience, appreciate the sighting and learn from it! Watch the interaction and observe the communication between the killers and its prey, it is fascinating."