Watch This Elephant Protect Its Family By Hurling a Tree Limb at a Charging Rhino

Animals That Have Tusks-elephant
Stu Porter/

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: October 17, 2023

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Who needs to pay for a boxing match when we have footage like what you’re about to see? Being immersed in nature is one of the greatest joys of being alive. A group of tourists had the opportunity to witness a once-in-a-lifetime moment when two animals weren’t getting along. 

Watch the Amazing Video!

This video starts with a herd of elephants enjoying a relaxing day in the sun when a nearby rhino is spotted near them. These two animals are not particularly friendly to one another in the wild, similar to how lions and elephants are. 

Elephants, especially adolescent bull elephants, frequently kill rhinos. It can be related to the struggle for food. Rhinos are territorial and just slightly social. On the grassy plains, they remain in groups called herds and claim their territory with cleverly arranged dung piles. 

The males fiercely defend their area with their enormous size and horns. Elephants, on the other hand, are not territorial. They are, however, protective of each other and that’s likely what caused the confrontation seen below. 

Young elephants playing, the youngest holding the tail of its sibling

Elephants love to play with each other’s tails!

A Balancing Act

We start to see the elephant walk toward the rhino with a large log being balanced on its trunk! While that’s impressive, the action is just getting started. The rhino dashes towards the elephant before abruptly stopping, almost as if he’s warning him. 

Rhinos are capable of defending their area, however, they are seldom aggressive unless cornered. Rhinos enjoy foraging in silence and seclusion. However, if they perceive a threat, they are permitted to charge in self-defense. Rhino females typically give their babies the utmost attention.

Instead of scaring the elephant, the gentle giant takes the log and throws it toward the rhino! An elephant’s trunk has two nostrils that run the length of it and function as both an expansion of the nose and an upper lip. 

Elephants utilize their trunks for a variety of purposes, including breathing, object handling, scratching itchy eyes or ears, and even as a snorkel when exploring in the water. The people on the safari are clearly entertained by the fight. Luckily for them, it ends before things get too intense! 

Horns of rhinos are nearly 20 inches long and comprised of finely woven keratin. These horns can grow back after breaking, but it takes time. Even with the tough skin of an elephant, rhino horns can cause considerable harm when used as dangerous weapons. We can only hope that these two fierce animals made it to a point of understanding and respect before continuing on their own journeys.

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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