Watch This 13,000 Pound Elephant Show No Respect for Personal Space and Face-Off with a Car

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 22, 2023

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African elephant at watering hole
© iStock.com/fotografie-kuhlmann

Key Points

  • Savannah elephants are huge! Males can be more than 13,000 pounds and 13 feet tall!
  • Elephant tusks are actually incisor teeth and are made of ivory covered in enamel.
  • In this video, the driver tries to redirect the elephant by its tusks to no avail. Take caution because the tusks are strong and deadly!

This is an amazing clip where a huge elephant gives some humans a not-to-gentle reminder of exactly who is boss! The huge animal aggressively approaches a jeep of students (one of which is in a very vulnerable position in an extended seat), sticks its tusks under the front of the jeep, and attempts to flip it over. There’s a blur, and then footage of multiple students exiting the damaged vehicle to escape harm. The people do escape, seemingly without serious injury, but extra footage reveals a very damaged jeep. Perhaps the elephant had had enough human company for one day!

How Big Are African Elephants?

An elephant’s tusks grow continuously.

©Prasanth Aravindakshan/Shutterstock.com

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This elephant is dwarfing the safari jeep but just how big are these animals? The vital statistics of the Savannah Elephant (Loxodonta africana) are impressive! The bulls (males) can weigh up to 13,889 pounds whilst the females can reach 7,716 pounds. From ground to shoulder height, the bulls can be 13 feet and the females can be eight and a half feet.

An elephant’s trunk alone can be six and a half feet long and weigh up to 440 pounds. It is actually a fusion of the nose and upper lip and a total of eight muscles allow the elephant to move it around so dexterously. It has no bone or cartilage in it though.

What Are an Elephant’s Tusks For?

elephants using tusks to defend

Elephants use their tusks to help protect their territory.

©AndreAnita/Shutterstock.com

The forward passenger must have been terrified at his up-close view of the gigantic beast approaching, its tusks ready to do some serious damage! They are actually incisor teeth and are made from ivory. This is a substance called dentine, which is a type of hard, dense, and bony tissue. The whole tusk is then wrapped in enamel which is the hardest type of animal tissue and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. In African elephants, they are found in both males and females and they continually grow.

Elephant tusks serve many purposes. They are used for digging in the ground to find water, salt, and roots but are also great for stripping tree bark and marking trees. You will also see elephants lifting things with their tusks and they provide protection for the trunk. Tusks are also used in elephant behavior – in offense and defense and in sexual display!


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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