The phrase “gentle giant” gets thrown around a lot when talking about elephants – but make no mistake, when threatened (or just in a bad mood) these hose-nosed tanks will mess you up. This was a lesson delivered all too clearly to one unfortunate crocodile at the Kruger National Park that came across the wrong elephant.
Caught on video, by Latest Sightings, the fatal interaction was a rather one-sided battle, as an African elephant can be seen stamping the crocodile into the shadow realm.
“Your free trial of living has EXPIRED," wrote one viewer on YouTube.
“Then she just goes back to eating grass, like a boss,” said another.
According to the video’s caption, the crocodile didn’t fare too well beneath the stompers of the world’s largest mammal and unfortunately proceeded to kick the proverbial bucket before the day was done.
Elephants are herbivores, so killing things isn’t a common behavior for them. However, even despite their enormous size, they are still the targets of several predators, crocs included. As such, it’s feasible that they will, on occasion, beat the living daylights out of something if they perceive it to be a potential threat to themselves or younger members of the herd.
A similar video shared by ABC 7 in 2017 demonstrates why elephants and their alleged excellent memories might hold a grudge against crocodiles. In it, a herd can be seen wading through water when a crocodile leaps out and grabs the trunk of a juvenile. Stuck with the unrelenting reptile on its snoot, things don’t look great for the young elephant. That is, until the herd gets involved.
Having initially recoiled in fear, the other elephants soon find their feet and defiantly walk in to stomp down the croc’s advances. The approach is seemingly effective as the trapped elephant is quickly freed. The condition of the crocodile however was… questionable.
Exactly which species of crocodile feature in the videos is difficult to ID with all the stamping and splashing, but of all the species known to occupy countries throughout Africa the largest is the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). A fearsome predator, it’s the second-largest in the world (after the absolute unit that is the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)) measuring up to 5 meters (15 feet) long and weighing around 227 kilograms (500 pounds).
Quite the meaty slab, indeed, but compare that to African elephants – both species of which weigh around 6,000 kilograms (13,228 pounds) and stretch up to 7 meters (24 feet) in length – and you can see why they make for formidable foes. Their weight is so signficiant, in fact, that a crocodile was found crushed to death beneath an elephant suspected to have succumbed to injuries and dropped dead on top of it. Ouch.
If there are any crocodiles out there who’ve got beef with elephants: just let it go, guys, or else it'll be the pancake life for you.