Watch What Happens When a Young Elephant Approaches 12+ Lions

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Written by Rachael Monson

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Young elephants playing, the youngest holding the tail of its sibling
© Johan W. Elzenga/

This video brings us right into the heart of Kenya, Africa, to the Masai Mara National Reserve. We see a large pride of lions resting quietly under a tree just before a young elephant comes from behind it. Most of the lions immediately run away. A long line of safari-goers watches on, and they are laughing at the lions’ fear. Some linger for a few seconds before realizing the intruder means business. It adopts an aggressive stance, ears flapping and trunk out. The lions move on without a fuss. They know that even this young pachyderm could cause serious damage, especially to the cubs. The humans laugh, but a threat by an elephant is no small thing for lions.

The next scene shows the lions have found a new place to rest. It’s a tree with no branches or leaves and no fruit that another animal might want to eat! Their quick get-a-way may have saved all of their lives.

Do Elephants Normally Have Conflicts With Lions?

While few and far between, elephant-lion conflicts do occur. Most lions know that even a young elephant poses a huge risk to them. A large bull could kill an adult lion without trouble. A herd could take out several lions with ease. Lions know these massive creatures are not to be messed with!

Elephants in natural habitat in South Africa.

A large bull elephant could kill a


without trouble.

©Cautron Live/

Lions rarely attack prey over about 1,000 pounds. They are strong and capable hunters, but the wrong move could cost them their lives. Other animals known to put up a fight against lions include wildebeest, water buffalo, and oryx. Each of these creatures has massive, sharp horns capable of piercing through skin and muscle. A kick from or being thrown by a large creature can break a lion’s bones.

What are Some Facts About Young Elephants?

baby elephant

Young elephants do not reach their full size until about 15 years old!


Baby elephants are some of the cutest creatures in the world. Watching them grow and learn about their environment is incredible. The whole herd’s instinct to protect them also inspires awe!

Let’s learn some baby and young elephant facts!

  • Elephants grow slowly. They do not reach their full size until about 15 years old!
  • A calf can stand on its own just 20 minutes after birth. In one hour, they can walk, and in just two days, they are able to follow the herd.
  • From the time they are born until they are fully grown, they gain about two to three pounds every day. Adults can weigh 8,000-13,000 pounds!
  • Calves weigh about 200 pounds when they are born. The African species have a gestation period of nearly two years! The Asian species are smaller, and pregnancies range from 18 to 22 months.

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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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