Watch an Elephant Turn Its Trunk Into a Super Soaker and Douse a Menacing Hyena

Written by Crystal
Published: September 25, 2023
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Watch what happens when a hyena tries to drink from an elephant’s watering hole. Every time the hyena attempts to approach, the elephant responds by squirting water from its trunk! The elephant doesn’t hold back and even bluffs charging at one point.

The watering hole is big enough for both of them to drink to their heart’s content. But this elephant isn’t about to share. While the hyena drinks, the elephant keeps delivering unwanted showers, sending a clear message: “I don’t want you here!” The whole scene unfolds in the video at the bottom of the page.

Super Soaker: The Power of Elephant Trunks

Elephant trumpeting as he leaves the Chobe River in Botswana Africa

Elephant trunks have 40,000 muscles, making them incredibly dexterous and powerful.

©Dennis W Donohue/

Touching, holding, breathing, drinking, snorkeling, smelling, and don’t forget making noise! Elephant trunks do a lot, which is why it takes 40,000 muscles to operate these super tools.

According to research from the Georgia Institute of Technology, can even dilate their nostrils to make more water-holding space in their trunks. Their research goes on to reveal just how quickly they can suck up the water too, 3 liters per second. This means an elephant could suck up all of the water in your bathtub in less than a minute.

Elephants Can Snorkel

Are elephants descendants of aquatic ancestors? It’s possible. University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine’s pulmonary physiologist, John B. West, M.D., Ph.D. was able to shed some light on how elephants use their trunks to snorkel. The research also suggests that elephant trunks might be a product of evolution, specifically made just for snorkeling.

How exactly do they pull it off? It’s been a longtime puzzle, trying to figure out how elephants can breathe while completely submerged underwater. Elephants, who are closely related to manatees, are the only animals with this underwater ability. It turns out they can snorkel thanks to a special lung structure.

For other mammals, the pressure around their lungs would be too high. But unlike most animals, elephants don’t have a fluid-filled space around their lungs. Instead of fluid, the space around an elephant’s lungs is filled with tough tissue.

Can a Hyena Kill an Elephant?

Africa, Animal, Animal Wildlife, Animals Hunting, Animals In The Wild

Hyenas can devour bones thanks to the hydrochloric acid in their digestive system.


No, hyenas don’t go after healthy adult elephants because they’re too big and powerful. However, sometimes, they target young elephant calves, especially if they’re separated from the herd. They also scavenge all sorts of carcasses, including elephants. You can find them hunting throughout parts of Asia and the plains of Africa.

Hyenas have strong digestive systems with hydrochloric acid to dissolve bones and tough tissue. And despite being known as scavengers, these animals are skilled hunters. They often work together in clans led by females, and they’re not afraid to stand up to larger animals. After making a kill or finding a carcass, hyenas will chase away predators like cheetahs, leopards, and lions who might steal their prey.

What animal is most likely to kill an elephant? Another elephant. Other elephants can become aggressive during mating season. Sometimes they fight to the death, even attacking their own calves. Lions can also work together to kill elephants. They usually target old, sick, or young elephants.

See Footage Below

Elephants can use their trunks for all sorts of things, like showering hyenas with water.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Michal Varga/

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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