Two elephants square up for a jumbo-sized brawl as they battle to take control of their herd
Squaring up as they battle to take control of their herd, this is the moment two elephants locked trunks during a brutal brawl. The older animal was challenged to the fight by a younger bull to become the dominant male at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
And despite the veteran elephant missing one of his tusks after a previous fight, he used his experience to triumph on the swampy battleground by throwing the youngster off balance with his trunk. The encounter was captured on camera by a 35-year-old photographer and owner of the Nomadic by Nature travel photography site, Mike McCaffrey.
The American, who now lives in Kenya, was taking a 12,500-mile road trip through eastern and southern Africa when he came across the fight. Mr. Caffrey explained: ‘Amboseli National Park is one of the most famous in Kenya. It sits at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, offering a stunning backdrop for safaris.
‘The water from Kilimanjaro feeds swamplands and lakes in the park, which attract large herds of elephants and buffalo and makes it feel like the land of giants. ‘I stumbled upon these two giant bull elephants at the edge of one of the swamps engaged in a battle for dominance.
‘After a long brutal battle, experience triumphed over youth. ‘The older elephant was able to use his one good tusk to insert it perpendicularly under the other elephant’s tusks like a forklift.
‘He then raised his tusk and twisted, throwing the other elephant off-balance.’ ‘He had to take a number of direct charges from the younger elephant during the fight, but eventually emerged victorious with the younger elephant retreating back into the swamp.’
And Mr. McCaffrey says he was privileged to view the fight, adding the experience was as exhilarating as it was humbling. He explained: ‘The animals are so big that everything seems to be moving in slow motion, but when they crash into each other, the skull cracking sound of their collision, and the rising dust around them makes you understand their speed and power.’
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