Lions are always touted as the king of beasts. Not so. Despite the occasional rare event in which lions have been seen taking down elephants (usually isolated incidents involving extenuating circumstances, but certainly not the norm), 99% of the time it is the so-called “King of the Jungle” that will flee before the might of the big grey pachyderms.
Elephants do not have much to fear from lions. Almost infinitely stronger, the very scent of the possible feline threat will often send a herd into a rage, and will end up with the cats scurrying away with their tails between their legs.
This was the case at Ximpalapala Koppie not too long ago, when the Mhangeni Pride, along with two of the Majingilane coalition, had their dignity trodden on as they were chased up into the safety of the boulders by an irate herd of elephants.
The lions had killed an impala early in the afternoon, and were lounging around near the carcass (which the dark-maned Majingilane was monopolising) when the elephants hove into view from the south. Having a few calves with them, and naturally protective animals by nature, the elephants lost no time in moving in to chase the lions away.
After sending the lions packing, the elephants moved off, leaving the pride to slink down to squabble over what was left of the meat.
Enjoy this footage of the encounter…
Filmed by Lucien Beaumont