How the elephant got his trunk — classic story plays out in Kruger

2014-12-30 00:00

MBOMBELA (Nelspruit) — Remember the Rudyard Kipling story The elephant’s child, or How the elephant got his trunk?

It played out recently in the Kruger ­National Park.

In the story, a crocodile stretches the originally snub nose of the elephant.

Photos are doing the rounds that show a huge crocodile latched onto an elephant’s trunk as the beast tries to shake the attacker off.

The photos were taken by American tourist Ashley Lewis during a morning game drive on December 26. Lewis, from Michigan, was a guest at the Lion Sands Reserve and was on a game drive with a ranger from the private reserve, Joe van Zyl.

“It was a very hot morning and we were at the Sabie River near Skukuza between 8 am and 9 am when we saw a herd of elephants, about 30 to 40,” said Van Zyl.

“There were two babies also in the river. A cow suddenly got very aggressive and pushed the little ones out of the river. Then we heard an awful sound and saw a young elephant grabbed by the trunk by a crocodile,” he said.

“The elephant went mad. The crocodile was at least four metres long. For about two or three minutes, the elephant tried to shake the croc off its trunk. Eventually, he pushed it under the water with his knees.

“The crocodile let go and disappeared under the brown river water. We were all speechless,” said Van Zyl.

He said an older elephant bull rushed to the scene, apparently to try to help the attacked animal. The elephant did not appear to be very seriously injured, he said, and left the scene with the rest of the group.

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