Trunk and disorderly! Two six-ton bull elephants flatten trees during heavyweight battle for supremacy at South African national park
- Two bull elephants clashed just 40 yards away from tourists in South Africa
- The majestic animals stomped around as they flattened the surrounding trees
- Tour guide Chris Bates captured stunning video of the havoc-wreaking fight
This is the incredible moment two six-ton bull elephants clashed in a 10-minute battle just yards away from a walking tour.
The mighty animals flattened trees as they locked tusks, charged each other and wrestled with their trunks.
Chris Bates was on a tour in Kruger National Park, South Africa, when he filmed the elephants’ clash.
His footage shows two elephants trumpeting at each other before their titanic tusks crashed together head on.
Branches fell flat into the savannah dust as the tussle continued, with the larger bull emerging victorious.
Mr Bates, 42, said: ‘To witness such an amazing fight with animals as large as these two bulls is something to behold.
The two bull elephants fight, clashing tusks, as they stomp around Kruger National Park in South Africa
‘The sheer size of these magnificent creatures is amazing and we estimated the weight to be around six tonnes each.
‘I’ve been a guide for four years and I’d never seen an elephant fight live before. The experience was quite the spectacle.
‘Listening to the tusks clashing, trees and branches snapping while watching these giants fight for breeding rights is something I will remember for quite some time.
‘The fight lasted about 10 minutes in total, with each elephant having a turn to challenge each other.
The two animals face off as they flatten the trees around the scenery, kicking up dust
The pair of six-ton creatures trumpet to each other before clashing head-on just yards away from a walking tour
‘Ultimately, the larger of the bulls won and chased the other away.’
Mr Bates, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was leading a group of trainee guides on July 26 when the fight broke out in front of them.
He explained that while the guides kept calm and explained the animals’ behaviour to the trainees, at one point a rifle was taken out ‘just in case’.
He added: ‘We were concerned at one point, as we were standing in camp. The other guide eventually got his rifle just in case the elephant came too close.
‘The rifle would have been used to fire a shot into the ground to alert the elephant to our presence and to get them to back away.
Chris Bates, pictured, filmed the incredible clash on the trail just over 40 yards in front of them
‘As guides, we ultimately do not want to use the rifles and rather witness nature doing what it does and let nature be.
‘The purpose of nature walks is to get into a viewing position, watch and extract without the animal knowing we were there.’
In a Facebook post Mr Bates added the animals’ aggressive behaviour was likely due to heightened testosterone levels.
He said: ‘Elephant are generally peaceful but at times when fighting for mating rights, they go into a state of musth.
‘This state pushes their testosterone levels up by up to 60 times the normal levels along with heightened aggression.
‘At times during the fight, one can hear the tusks of each elephant bashing those of the opponent’s.’
Mr Bates has been running his safari company since 2017, arranging private photography trails and day trips after falling in love with the area while on family holidays.
He said: ‘I loved my holidays to the Bushveld, mostly Kruger National Park.
‘I love the ability to work in nature away from technology and share my passion with those who I interpret the bush to.’
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