Watch an Elephant Turn Into the ‘Karate Kid’ and Hilariously Kick a Buffalo

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: April 7, 2023
© Volodymyr Burdiak/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Points:

  • Elephants are usually elegant creatures, however, this article covers a video of an elephant caustically kicking a buffalo.
  • This video of a fascinating encounter between an elephant and a buffalo has almost 18 million views.
  • Visitors could make out distant herds of elephants and buffalo grazing.

Animals from all over the world coexist with each other in the wild. While some are natural enemies, others put up with one another to share the environment and all it has to offer.

The Greater Kruger National Park’s South-Western region of South Africa is home to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, a wildlife paradise where you can observe the amazing natural interaction between animals that you’d never see in your own backyard.

A video of a fascinating encounter between an elephant and a buffalo has almost 18 million views. Since 1979, Sabi Sabi, the location where these animals reside, has attracted visitors from around the world drawn by the prospect of an unforgettable safari experience. 

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Elephants at the Sabi Sabi game reserve are known to form close-knit family units although males form bachelor herds


Tourists were observing elephant and buffalo herds feeding in the distance. One of the buffalo appeared to start staring the elephant in the eyes, almost as if attempting to threaten it. African buffalo will surround their young in a circle, horns extended, effectively daring any predators to strike.

Few animals are likely to try to penetrate the buffalo shield wall because it frequently takes several predators to kill even one adult African buffalo. When these two enormous beasts fight, which happens infrequently, things may become rather spectacular. Buffaloes and elephants typically get along.

The elephant doesn’t like that and starts rocking back and forth while waving his trunk in the direction of the buffalo. The two untamed creatures keep glaring at one another. The tourist concludes that the elephant is probably just an adolescent at this point. 

Puberty is the time when the male elephant starts to separate from the matriarchal herd. Then, he will associate with male groupings, sometimes known as bachelor herds.

A Swift Kick

The elephant casually strolls up to a buffalo that is lazing in the meadow and kicks it in the head rather than pursuing the primary buffalo with which he has been interacting. A few seconds later, the once-calm buffalo gets up and charges the enormous creature.

Even apex predators like lions can’t overpower an entire buffalo herd.

©Peter Betts/

The only reason we think the elephant may have kicked the “wrong” buffalo is that it slightly moved as the elephant got closer. If the gentle giant thought the buffalo was about to attack, the kick could’ve been a reflex to defend itself. 

One comment even thinks it was supposed to be playful. They write, “The elephant walked towards the buffalo in a humorous, playful way.., he was just playing around.” With how the buffalo reacted, we’re not so sure about this theory!

Something we know is true, this elephant will never forget what happens when you kick a buffalo in the head! 

Most animals would think twice about attacking an elephant but not this buffalo

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Most animals in the wild know that getting too close to hippos is generally a bad idea. Even crocodiles are known to be on their very best behavior in the presence of these territorial and occasionally foul-tempered pachyderms capable of tipping the scales at 3,300 lbs. But when you’re capable of outbalancing them on the scales, the rules change spectacularly. And how. Just as in the case of this giant elephant which obliges these basking hippos to give way as he casually wades right through their territory. Proving the rules of nature are nothing, if not consistent.

Watch this forest giant exercise its right of passage where other creatures would fear to tread

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The Featured Image

An African Elephant in the National park of Kenya, with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. African elephants are the biggest animals that walk the earth at present. They are also working animals that you can sometimes ride!
© Volodymyr Burdiak/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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