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See Who Blinks First When a Ginormous Elephant and Hungry Tiger Come Face to Face

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: August 30, 2023
© Wildberry India/
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Key Points

  • There are several places in the world where elephants and tigers coexist, including India and some parts of Asia.

Generally regarded as gentle creatures, elephants have another side to them that can intimidate the largest of all the big cats — the tiger. In the video at the bottom of the page, you see what happens when a tiger gets a little too close for comfort. The elephant is quick to let it know it has to keep moving.

Can Tigers and Elephants Coexist Harmoniously?

Bangladesh, Bengal Tiger, Tiger, West Bengal, Animal
Tigers and elephants can coexist, so long as they respect one another’s space.


There are several places in the world where elephants and tigers coexist, including India and some parts of Asia. In Sumatra, not only do tigers and elephants call the forests home, but they also coexist with orangutans, rhinos, clouded leopards, and sun bears. Tigers and elephants aren’t necessarily harmonious, singing kumbaya at firelight, but they have learned to give one another space. When one animal encroaches, the other offers a fair warning that they’ve come a bit too close.

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Why Do Elephants Make Trumpeting Sounds?

Tallest Animals: African Bush Elephant
Elephants communicate in a variety of ways – including sounds like trumpet calls (some sounds are too low for people to hear), body language, touch and scent.

©Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/

Elephants make trumpeting sounds for varying reasons. They could be expressing their excitement, but they could also be expressing their fear. They may trumpet happily but they may trumpet angrily. Like you’ll see in the video at the bottom of the page, you have to consider context clues to determine what emotion an elephant may be feeling. In the clip, you can tell by the elephant’s body language that it is neither happy nor excited — it’s ticked off!

Elephant Scares Off Tiger

Elephant vs Tiger
Elephants will offer a fair warning when another animal comes too close.

©Wildberry India/

When the video below starts, you can see an elephant in the foreground standing in muddy water. It has a lone tusk. In the background atop a small hill, a tiger is walking slowly. You can hear the excited murmurs of the crowd gathered behind the camera. The elephant notices when the tiger walks by and turns its head to follow its movements. The tiger seems uninterested in the elephant but approaches the water from behind the elephant.

The elephant, aware of its presence, does not appreciate that the tiger is closing in. It takes a few steps forward in the water, slowly exiting, and keeping its eyes on the tiger. Once it exits the watering hole, it turns toward the tiger and starts charging. At this point, the tiger has gotten the hint that the watering hole is taken but the elephant needs to be heard loud and clear. It starts to trumpet and stands at the top of the hill, watching the tiger retreat.  

Watch the Fascinating Scene Below!

Watch an elephant intimidate a tiger when it gets too close!

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a quirky cat mom with a love for books, thunderstorms, and comfy couches where she cozies up with her laptop to write her heart out. Her writing style combines engaging storytelling, vivid imagery, emotional resonance, and educational depth to create a compelling and informative reading experience for readers like you! Her passion and humor stamp her work with a voice all her own and her sense of wonder creates a fantastical narrative that allows you to explore the fascinating world of wildlife through new eyes.

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