Watch as a Mother Rhino Bravely Stands Her Ground Against Huge Elephants

Written by Hannah Crawford
Updated: August 30, 2023
© Volodymyr Burdiak/
Share this post on:


Key Points:

  • This video displays a rhino mother with her baby having an aggressive encounter with an elephant.
  • The animals part ways and then meet back up where the feud continues.
  • The bickering between the two large creatures keeps going until the end of the clip.

A watering hole is one of the prime spots in the animal kingdom. It is their lifeline to getting the water that they need. A mother rhinoceros and her baby are enjoying a hot day at the watering hole when they hear an elephant come up behind them. 

The mother and her baby turn to face the elephant, who seemingly is not happy to see that they are there in his path. A family of elephants group around the giant elephant, almost as if to provide backup. 

The elephants start to slowly push the rhino back, assuming that would scare her and the young rhino away. However, it had the opposite effect.

The mother rhino though much smaller than the giant elephant, is seen in the video below pushing back against the elephant. She’s telling the elephants, “We’re not going anywhere. We belong here too.” 

Angry African elephant with raised ears towards white Rhino, Kruger National Park South Africa
Rhinos are half the size of a male elephant.

©Beate Wolter/

Angered, the enormous elephant stomps his head into a branch causing it to break off. The elephants then stampede off. They roam around for a few minutes but then return to where it all started.

The feud is returning in full force. This massive elephant is determined to make the mother rhino and her baby leave. He starts to head down the slight slope, but the elephant beside him puts his trunk up to stop him. The giant elephant starts to leave when he quickly turns around as if to say, “This isn’t over yet.”

The family of elephants joins the leader down by the water to drink. The mother rhino does not flinch. She is determined to stick to her territory no matter how long the elephants take. The elephants drink water for several minutes, and the leader is annoyed that the rhino still has not left. In a huff, he grabs a piece of wood and throws it down at the mother rhino’s feet. 

The rhino charges at him for a few steps to let him know they aren’t going anywhere! This water is every bit as much hers as it is those elephants. This bickering between them both continues throughout the end of the video. 

Are Rhinos Territorial?

Angry white rhino.
A rhino’s horn can grow to 4 1\2 feet long.


Like most animals in the animal kingdom, they want to have a place they can claim and call home. While some animals are more territorial than others, the rhino is very territorial, especially towards other male rhinos.

Rhinos do not have strong eyesight, so they rely heavily on their strong sense of smell. They will mark their territory up to a mile out as their way of asserting dominance that it is their spot. To mark their spot, they will spray urination or defecate. 

In the video below, the rhino defecates when he feels threatened by the herd of elephants.

Are Elephants Aggressive?

Big tusker elephant that wonders across african savanna plains of the Kruger NP
Elephant herds can reach up to 100 members!

©Johann Mader/

Elephants are enormous creatures and can easily weigh over 10,000 lbs. Their large stature may give the impression that they may be aggressive

Elephants are very emotional and sensitive animals that have been known to carry various emotions with them through life. However, their nature is not to be aggressive at all. 

When an elephant feels threatened, it will do what any other animal will do and go on the defensive to protect itself from danger. In the case of this below video, the elephant felt threatened that the rhino was near the water and wouldn’t leave. 

Check out the full video below!

Share this post on:
About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a Communications Specialist with experience in writing, social media, and public speaking. Hannah's freelance career started with her passion for the Performing Arts. She began assisting non-profits with their marketing efforts. She quickly began working with websites, blogs, and writing course books. Which led to her experience writing about animals, nature, natural medicine, and the arts. On her down time you will see Hannah with her family on zoo trips and taking trips out of state every year!

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