This is the scary moment when a mother elephant fights off a group of fierce hyenas that are attacking her baby.
During the dangerous encounter with up to 18 hyenas, the vulnerable infant – who had been removed from the herd for a brief period of time – had its tail bit.t.en off.
The terrified child was seen on camera hiding behind its mommy as the predators continued to circle.
An alarmed safari party, aroused by the sound of screeching elephants, observed the angry mother continuously stomping her feet and swinging her trunk to separate the growling gang.
In Botswana’s Linyanti bush, 18 hyenas surrounded two elephant mothers and their babies until a smaller group of hyenas was able to pull one of the babies away.
While the mother pursued them, the bigger pack rushed on the solitary infant and began bi.t.ing and ripping at it while bouncing on its back.
James Weis, of the tour firm Eyes of Africa, watched the mothering instinct of an angry elephant as it sprang to defend its young.
James, age 50, says, “It wasn’t alone for more than ten seconds before the mother arrived and became considerably angrier.”
They were playing a risky game because if one hyena had gotten in her way, it would have been hurled into the air like a beanbag.
She ran towards the group and knocked down trees as if they were matchsticks, scattering the hyenas in a cloud of dust.
The newborn elephant survived despite losing its tail and lived to fight another day.