January 12, 2023

The Hᴇᴀʀᴛ-Sᴛᴏᴘᴘɪɴɢ Moment A Protective Elephant Charges At A Pack Of ʜʏᴇɴᴀs To Protect Its Iɴᴊᴜʀᴇᴅ Calf

The furious mother elephant blunders into battle to save her calf from the hungry hyena pack. This is the dramatic moment a protective mother elephant desperately ꜰᴏᴜɢʜᴛ off a ꜰᴇᴀʀsᴏᴍᴇ pack of ʜʏᴇɴᴀs trying to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ her young calf. These amazing pictures were captured by American photographer Jayesh Mehta 47, in the Savuti region of the Chobe National Park in Botswana. Jayesh said: “We heard cries of elephants in ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇss. On leaving the track and going towards the sounds in the bush we found a group of 12-14 ʜʏᴇɴᴀs chasing a herd of around eight elephants.”

The life and ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ began as the dog-like mammals ᴘᴏᴜɴᴄᴇᴅ on the unsuspecting baby elephant when it became sᴇᴘᴀʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ from its mother. Six of the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs launched themselves onto the calf’s back in a bid to bring it down, prompting the furious mother to swing into action. As the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs begin to surround the elephant, she becomes aggressive in an attempt to protect her young calf which has already been ɪɴᴊᴜʀᴇᴅ.

One hyena gets a face full of dust as the elephant continues her ᴀssᴀᴜʟᴛ on the pack. She stampeded towards the vicious creatures with such force that she left several trees uprooted in her wake. The huge elephant kicked out her feet and swung her trunk at the pack, which quickly scattered. She then returned to her calf, which had its tail ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ off during the encounter, but appeared otherwise ᴜɴsᴄᴀᴛʜᴇᴅ.


Laws of the jungle: The tiny calf takes shelter behind its mother as she repels the combined ᴀssᴀᴜʟᴛ of the pack. They waited for the baby to come into a clearing and then two or three rushed at it. When the mother chased them off the larger pack tried to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ the calf. It wasn’t alone for more than 10 seconds when the mother returned and was even more annoyed. They were playing a ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs game because had one hyena got in the way of her it would have been flung through the air like a beanbag. She charged after the pack and was knocking over trees like they were matchsticks and the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs fled and scattered in a cloud of dust kicked up by the mother. The baby had its tail ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ off, but was alright. It is fairly common to see elephants in Africa with no tail. It was quite a dramatic thing to watch.

Strength in numbers? Do not give in to the power of the mother elephant, the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs mobbed the baby elephant by jumping on its back in a bid to overpower it. But, the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs stood no chance against the ʀᴀɢᴇ of a mother elephant, and several trees were uprooted in the heat of her rampage. The ʙʀᴜᴛᴀʟ encounter was witnessed by a group of stunned tourists, who were willing the mother on to victory. Jayesh said: “We kept following the chase closely but keeping a safe distance away to avoid any human ɪɴᴛᴇʀꜰᴇʀᴇɴᴄᴇ in this sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ of nature. During the chase, for almost an hour, the elephants managed to shake off the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs – but the ʜʏᴇɴᴀs found the elephants and the chase resumed. Eventually, the elephants escaped.”

The elephant calf ʟᴏsᴛ its tail in the scrap, but lived to fight another day – thanks to mum. Safe at last, the elephant calf stays near its parents after the vicious ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ. Jayesh shared: “It was probably one of the most exciting experiences – that pictures cannot do justice to.”

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