Watch a Hungry Crocodile Launch a Sneak Attack and Snap an Elephant’s Trunk

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Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Tallest Animals
© Efimova Anna/

Key Points:

  • This article covers a short video of a group of elephants drinking on the shoreline of a muddy body of water.
  • You soon hear a woman gasp and realize that there is an alligator attacking the trunk of the elephant in the front.
  • The elephant fights off the beast and charges into the water to fling it off its trunk.

Elephants are known for having caring, intelligent natures. They are social and develop deep bonds, displaying emotion when one of their family members passes. They playfully enjoy one another’s company, demonstrating their love for one another with trunk hugs.

It’s hard not to feel a sense of tenderness when thinking of these majestic creatures. Clearly, that’s the general sentiment in this clip. A horrified crowd of spectators gasps in unison when a crocodile attacks the matriarch of an elephant family.

What Do Elephants Use Their Trunks For?

african elephant vs asian elephant

Elephants use their trunks for many tasks, such as cooling off with water spray.

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©Dmytro Gilitukha/

The trunk of an elephant is incredibly muscular, with approximately 150,000 different muscle units strewn throughout it. It’s essentially an elephant’s nose — they use it to breathe, smell, trumpet, and for grabbing yummy snacks.

They also use their trunks to drink water. They do this by sucking up the water (up to eight liters at once!) and then spraying it back into their mouths.

Despite their immense size, elephants do well in the water. They use their trunks as snorkels and float quite well, allowing them to remain submerged for hours at a time.

Aside from using their trunks for a variety of purposes, elephants also use their tusks (which are actually teeth) to help with food gathering, stripping bark from trees, and defending themselves.

Do Crocodiles Normally Hunt Elephants?

Crocodile and Elephant

A small crocodile rests near an elephant as it hydrates at a watering hole.

© Kieslich

Crocodiles are incredibly opportunistic creatures, snapping at virtually anything they can turn into prey. They are known for hunting baby elephants, but as you’ll see in this clip, crocodiles are unrelenting and may even try to take down a full-grown elephant. Along with baby elephants, crocodiles also eat frogs, fish, crustaceans, and even each other sometimes!

These reptiles are carnivores, and even humans have fallen prey to them. Some of the larger prey they take down and consume include wildebeest, wild boars, deer, and sharks. Crocs typically consume somewhere between two to five pounds of meat every day. Ultimately, it depends on the size of the croc and the available food sources in its area.

Crocodile vs. Elephant

Nile crocodile Mother and hatched baby

Nile crocodiles are one of the few reptiles that take care of their babies.

©Catchlight Lens/

In this clip, an elephant family has approached a watering hole to hydrate. The matriarch leads the way, a second elephant and a calf following close behind. The matriarch starts drinking water as the calf steps into the water, shielded by the lady boss. The other elephant walks around to the other side. It’s a peaceful moment, and you can hear the spectators murmur behind the camera as they take in the sweet scene.

Just as the second largest elephant makes its way to the edge of the water, a crocodile lunges out of the water, snapping its jaws shut onto the matriarch’s trunk. The elephant family tries to retreat, but the matriarch is left to battle it out with the crocodile. She moves her head up and down, trying to get the croc to release her trunk. The croc’s jaws are too strong, however, and she ends up getting pulled into the water.

You can hear the horrified screams of the spectators as they fear they’re about to witness the worst. Once in the water and closer to the croc, the matriarch uses her tusks to send the croc flying. Once the croc releases her trunk, she is able to make it back out of the water and to her family. She’s injured but she’s whole.

The Size of Nile Crocodiles

A Nile Crocodile, the bigger predator of the Nile River.

The ferocious

Nile crocodile

is an apex predator in its ecosystem.


Nile crocodiles are an iconic species of African wildlife and the largest of all crocodilian species. As they grow, they reach impressive sizes and weights, with adult males reaching up to 17 feet in length and weighing up to 1,650 pounds. Juvenile Nile crocodiles are much smaller, typically growing up to 4 or 5 feet in length and weighing around 40-50 pounds.

Their long, powerful tails are used for swimming and defending themselves against predators, and their long, powerful jaws are lined with rows of sharp teeth. These teeth can reach up to 2.5 inches long and are designed to tear through flesh and bone. Nile crocodiles have a powerful bite force, and their jaws can exert up to 5000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Nile crocodiles are imposing animals, and they can be a dangerous predator. They are well-adapted to their environment, and their size and power make them a formidable opponent. By understanding their size and weight, it’s possible to appreciate the scale of their presence in the wild.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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