It would seem that a 1-year-old elephant would have no chance after becoming surrounded by 14 hungry lions.
But not all baby elephants are of the same mettle, perhaps, and at least one young pachyderm is deserving of its valiant new nickname: Hercules.
That would be the elephant in the accompanying footage. According to the New York Post, it had strayed from its mother but was able to fend off the lions and ultimately reunite with its herd.
The Post uploaded the video Tuesday and viewers might find parts of the footage difficult to watch, as lions can be seen using their sharp claws to climb onto the back of the elephant.
But the footage, captured by a team journalists at the Norman Carr Safaris Chinzombo Camp in Zambia, also shows the elephant turning the tide periodically by false-charging the lions to keep them at bay.
The elephant, which probably learned some valuable lessons during the harrowing encounter, can be seen using the water to its advantage. But it makes at least one painful mistake by becoming emboldened and exiting the water, only to be attacked anew.
“In the 30-plus years that I have been a safari guide in Zambia at the Luangwe Park, never have I seen anything like this,” said a guide named Innocent, who was with the group. “We were all so worried the baby elephant would be killed right before us.”
Instead, the feisty mammal attained at least a small measure of fame, and a new moniker befitting only the brave and strong.
“We’ve named the little fella Hercules,” Innocent said. “What a fighter.”
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