Everybody loves elephants. The biggest living land animals in the world, they are beautiful creatures that are revered worldwide. Although generally thought of as gentle animals, they are actually incredibly dangerous — which can be mostly attributed to their impressive size — although there are times when elephants can be frighteningly aggressive too. And I mean aggressive.
Like seriously, you do not want to get in the way of an elephant that got out of bed on the wrong side.
Weighing in at 10,000 to 13,000 pounds, and capable of reaching speeds of around 25 mph, getting hit by an elephant at full speed is similar to being hit by a truck. Except a truck doesn’t have two piercing tusks.
In this video, a poor buffalo gets this lesson first-hand, as a bull elephant smashes into it, using his tusks to stab and kill the buffalo. Happening in front of a group of tourists in Kruger National Park (including one lady that is far from impressed with the elephant), this unprovoked attack really shows how brutal nature can be.
Although it is unclear as to why the elephant acts so aggressively, it is most likely that the elephant was in the middle of a periodic condition called “musth”, where bull elephants have a massive elevation in testosterone levels. Whilst this is thought to be for reproduction purposes, it has a knock-on effect on the elephant — he gets very aggressive. Another reason speculated by the publisher of the video, Kruger Sightings, is that the elephant is defending a watering hole from the buffalo, although this territorial behavior would be uncharacteristic of elephants, who live a nomadic lifestyle. It may be a mixture of the two, with musth increasing the response of the elephant.