Watch an Undersized Rhino Stand Its Ground and Show an Elephant Who’s Boss

Written by Hannah Crawford
Updated: October 20, 2023
Share on:

“Size matters.” You’ve probably heard that phrase in life more than you want to. Whether it is about sports and how big players are, the size of others’ paychecks, or how big a house is. This same rule of thumb can be said in the animal kingdom. After all, when it comes to these animals, size does matter. A lion fighting a hyena, a cheetah grabbing a gazelle, or an anaconda eating a capybara

Check Out the Video Below!

However, as we all know, when it comes to the phrase “size matters,” we know that in reality, that does not always matter. Sometimes, the smaller basketball player can outhoop the tall guy; sometimes, the smaller paycheck means more time with family, and at others, the smaller house means that the family can travel year round. 

This video posted below takes place in September of 2013, where a rhinoceros and her baby are wandering through an open field. The largest land animal is coming up closely beside them. The elephant is taking an interest in the rhino and her young for some reason. He cuts them off from walking past him. 

8,815 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

The mother rhino immediately goes on the defensive and, in essence, stands up to this enormous mammal. She will not allow this elephant to hurt her young, no matter how small she is, in comparison to the elephant. If we pause the video at one minute and eleven seconds, we can see just how small this rhino looks beside this enormous elephant. It seems like with just a stomp of his foot, this elephant could kill this rhino.

However, the fierce protection and love from a mother shielding her young is not to be taken lightly. It is quite interesting to see that this rhino, less than a third of this elephant’s size, can make this elephant eventually run off. 

How Big Are Elephants?

wild elephants, mother and son

Elephants can run 25 miles per hour.


Elephants, easily labeled as the largest land animals alive, weigh anywhere from 3,000-5,400 kilograms (6,500-12,000 pounds). They also reach up to 2-3.6 meters (7-12 feet) in height.

How Big are Rhinos?

a group of white rhinos in the wild

Rhinos can run 30 miles per hour.

©Jurgens Potgieter/

Rhinos can weigh anywhere from 800-3,500 kilograms (1,765-7,716 pounds). So, as we can see, not only are rhinos much smaller than elephants, but this particular rhino was severely undersized for a rhino. 

It was the fierce protection of her young that allowed her to beat this elephant!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Volodymyr Burdiak/

Share on:
About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.