A mother elephant protected her young calf by chasing away a pack of hyenas, and the amazing moments were caught on camera.
Photographer Jayesh Mehta, 47, snapped these stunning pictures in the Savuti region of the Chobe National Park in Botswana, Africa.
This is the dramatic moment a protective mother elephant desperately ꜰᴏᴜɢʜᴛ off a fearsome pack of hyenas trying to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ her young calf. The life and ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ began as the dog-like mammals pounced on the unsuspecting baby elephant when it became separated from its mother. Six of the hyenas launched themselves onto the calf’s back in a bid ᴛᴏ ʙʀɪɴɢ ɪᴛ ᴅᴏᴡɴ, prompting the furious mother to swing into action.
Jayesh said: “We heard the cries of the elephants in ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇss. As we left the track and headed towards the sounds of the bush, we saw a herd of 12-14 hyenas chasing a herd of about eight elephants. The elephants were trying to run through the bushes. ”
One hyena gets a face full of dust as the elephant continues her ᴀssᴀᴜʟᴛ ᴏɴ the pack She stampeded towards the vicious creatures with such force that she left several trees uprooted in her wake. The huge elephant kicked out her feet and swung her trunk at the pack, which quickly scattered. She then returned to her calf, which had its tail bitten off during the ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ, but appeared otherwise ᴜɴsᴄᴀᴛʜᴇᴅ.
The hyenas stood no chance ᴀɢᴀɪɴsᴛ the rage of a mother elephant, and several trees were uprooted in the heat of her rampage The brutal ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ was witnessed by a group of stunned tourists, who were willing the mother on to victory.
“We kept following the chase closely but keeping a safe distance away to avoid any human interference in this sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ of nature. During the chase, for almost an hour, the elephants managed to shake off the hyenas – but the hyenas found the elephants and the chase resumed. Eventually, the elephants ᴇsᴄᴀᴘᴇᴅ.”