A young elephant managed to fight off a hungry lioness in a valiant fight witnessed by a group on safari in the heart of the Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe.
Stunned onlookers were given a rare treat while on a recent African Bush Camps Safari as the animal duo locked in a fierce battle.
Dramatic footage of the vicious encounter, which unfolded just yards away from tourists, shows the big cat clinging to its intended prey – only for the elephant to fight for its life and shrug the predator off.
The mother lioness launched herself at the young elephant, digging her claws into its thick skin and chomping at its head – in what was thought to be an attempt to secure a meal for her cubs.
A close-up image of the two animals shows the lion with its claws digging into the elephant’s thick skin as it tries to also get its teeth in
The large feline can be heard as she growls fiercely and intensifies her attempts to bring the elephant down
Despite the lioness’ repeated attempts to pin the elephant to the ground, it’s the elephant that wins this round as it finally sends the feline scampering off back to her waiting cubs
But the elephant, will not to be defeated easily. It rears its head and trumpets as it attempts to break free.
It continues to struggle, visibly distressed as the large feline growls fiercely and intensifies her attempts to bring the elephant down.
But, on this day, it’s the elephant that triumphs. After repeated attempts to break free it can be seen throwing off the lioness which quickly scampers back into the bush where her cubs are playing.
The group on safari heard the elephant squeal before the got close enough to see the two creatures fighting
Samuel Chevallier who filmed the fierce clash, said it was rare to see such a clash between the two animals
Samuel Chevallier, 28, who filmed the fierce clash, said adrenaline was pumping through his veins as he captured the ‘extremely rare’ fight between the two beasts.
He said the group had come across the battle after setting out from the Somalisa camp, in Hwange, towards the area where a lion pride had been spotted the evening before.
‘The early morning light broke and we were happy to find they were still resting in the same place,’ he said.
The filmmaker and safari guide, who is part of a film production company called Rewild, said the scenes were peaceful at first – as they watched a cluster of lion clubs play.
But not long after the group noticed the mother begin to get restless as she hustled her cubs through the bush, before going off alone into the thicket to hunt her prey.
The lioness tries to get her claws and teeth into the elephant as it struggles to break free from the feline predator
The elephant can be heard trumpeting in distress as the lioness digs her claws and teeth into its head
The elephant is not defeated easily. It can be seen rearing its head and trumpeting as it attempts to break free from the lioness’ strong grasp
The first sign of her attack came through the air – with the sound of the elephant screeching, before the group caught sight of the two animals’ epic battle.
‘It’s never easy hearing the sound of a screeching animal fighting to survive,’ Chevallier said.
‘We were slightly relieved to see the young elephant escaping the grips of the lioness.’
The filmmaker said as the lioness launched her attack the cubs had lain in the tall grass looking on, only for her to return to collect them, empty-handed.
‘Although, witnessing the hunger of the cubs as they waited for their mother to bring home the meal – [offered] a contradiction of emotion that I had not quite felt before.’
The lioness’ cubs can not be seen in the video, but were looking on from the thicket as their mother fought to vanquish her prey
The elephant can be seen running off into the bush after successfully shaking off the lioness