In Zambia, a confrontation between a young crocodile and an elephant ended particularly badly: no winners, only losers. The heavy elephant fell straight into the crocodile in a surprising plot twist.
A guide from Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, along with some tourists, stumbled upon an exclusive, somewhat nasty, scene. He recorded it on camera and later shared the photo on Facebook. What can you observe? The eaten carcass of a dead elephant with the long tail and short legs of a crocodile underneath, crushed by the weight of the elephant.
How is that possible?
Soon the question followed: “What the hell happened?” Some safari guides have tried to answer that question. The carcasses of both the crocodile and the elephant already show that neither of them has fallen victim to poachers. No bullets were found anywhere.
Have the two really fought to the death with each other? That option is also rather unlikely, according to experts. It was a young Nile crocodile, which grows to about six meters in adulthood and can weigh up to 750 kilograms. The adult elephant can, however, weigh up to 6,350 kilograms. “I very much doubt that the young crocodile was trying to bring down an adult elephant,” said Marisa Tellez, co-founder of Crocodile Research Coalition. What is possible according to Tellez? “Perhaps the crocodile was a young female trying to protect her nest from the elephant and getting trampled like that.”
But it is most likely that the elephant was already sick or injured when the crocodile crossed its path. “Perhaps he was already attacked by a lion,” Tellez adds. “And an injured elephant is often no longer strong enough to fight back.”
After a long struggle, the elephant probably collapsed due to his injuries and/or exhaustion. In addition, the unfortunate crocodile is crushed by the weight of the animal.