Baby Elephant Escapes 14 Lions

Baby Elephant Escapes 14 Lions

By Stefan Sirucek for National Geographic

“Hercules” the elephant is the new king of the jungle after the youngster drove off 14 lions earlier this month in Zambia.

Visitors to South Luangwa National Park came upon a pride of female lions attacking the elephant near the Norman Carr Safaris Chinzombo Camp, and they caught the attack on camera.

Baby Elephant Escapes 14 Lions

“Never have I seen anything like this,” Innocent, a Norman Carr safari guide, wrote with the YouTube video, which has amassed nearly 200,000 views.

“We were all so worried the elephant would be killed right before us. What a fighter,” he said.

The video shows the lions clawing at the elephant and even leaping onto its back as it tries to fend off and evade them despite being hugely outnumbered.

Incredibly, the animal—which the tourists and safari guides dubbed Hercules—escapes unharmed, according to the Norman Carr Safaris website.

To find out more about the behavior of both species, National Geographic spoke with Joyce Poole, co-founder of the nonprofit Elephant Voices and a National Geographic explorer.

Have you ever seen anything like this before?

We don’t see it so much up in East Africa, [where I work]. Only once have I seen anything remotely like that. Usually elephants are very much in control when it comes to lions. So if they meet lions, they will see them off.

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