Friday, December 10, 2010

The REAL king of the jungle: Thirsty bull elephant sends packing lioness who dared disturb him at a waterhole


The lioness and elephant were blissfully unaware of each other at first

Lounging around a watering hole in the hot afternoon sun, the last interruption this lioness expected was a four-ton bull elephant barging in on her quiet time.

Arriving for his afternoon drink, the 10ft tall 15-year-old bull elephant was blissfully unaware of the female predator, who had been relaxing in the shade of a waterside tree.

Caught between the water and the rapidly approaching elephant, the lioness had to act fast to avoid being charged by the thirsty nelly.

Taking the bull by surprise she bolted for safety across his line of sight - initially startling the elephant.

The lioness decides she's had enough and starts to make a run for it

But he suddenly charged - to reinforce he was the real king of the jungle - giving chase to the lioness before he resumed his drink.

'While on a drive I noticed a lioness sitting in the shade of the tree,' said British wildlife guide Mark Sheridan-Johnson, from Newcastle, who captured the interaction during a tour in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

'We watched her for a while before I noticed a young bull elephant in the distance coming down for a drink and he was heading straight for the lioness.

'I thought 'this could be interesting' and waited to watch the outcome as the bull slowly strolled down to the lakes edge.

'The lioness was completely trapped in between the elephant and the lake.

She bolted right across the 10ft elephant's line of sight

After sufficiently scaring her off, the elephant returned to the water to finish getting a drink

Rather than scaring him off, the lioness's dash had the elephant in hot pursuit

'As the bull approached, the lioness became more anxious as the seriousness of the situation became apparent to her. Just as the bull came within ten feet of her, she decided to make a dash for it.

'The bull was completely surprised and took a step backwards. Then when he realised what was happening he decided to give chase.'

Luckily for the lioness she was capable of running at speeds of up to 35mph, helping her to escape.

'So the lioness escaped and the elephant carried on with his evening drink,' said Mark.

The Selous Game Reserve is Africa's largest protected wildlife reserve and covers five percent of Tanzania's total land mass.

It is located in the remote south east of the country and is made up of gushing rivers, rolling hills and sprawling plains.

The reserve is named in honour of British explorer Frederick Courtney Selous, who wrote a book about his travels in the region and was killed there during the First World War.

source: dailymail

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