A young elephant innocently walked up to a watering hole to get a drink of water, not knowing of the danger lurking right under its nose until it was too late. As the pachyderm dipped its trunk into the water, a crocodile leaped up from out of the water and latched on to the elephant's trunk.
Wildlife photographer Ian Salisbury, who is also a general manager of a safari lodge at the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, captured the amazing wildlife moment in a series of photographs.
"You know what they say about sticking your nose in where it is not wanted ... well, this elephant found that out the hard way this afternoon," Salisbury posted on his Facebook page Oct. 29.
A guest at the lodge reported seeing a similar attack earlier in the day so Salisbury returned to the scene in hopes of photographing another encounter.
"The action was so quick--a couple of seconds--and fortunately I had the camera pointing in the right direction," Salisbury told the U.K. Daily Mail. "Having spent 30 years in the African bush, I realize how lucky I was to catch the scene."
The elephant whipped its trunk out of the crocodile's jaws. Salisbury said it sustained a few scratches, but no real damage was done.
"For those of you who wanted to know what happened next. … Well, the elephant just trumpeted, blew its nose, and fled into the bush … maybe a little wiser?" Salisbury said on Facebook.
The incident prompted comparisons to the children's story by Rudyard Kipling. "The Elephant's Child" depicts how the elephant got its trunk: by a crocodile stretching it out by pulling on it.
Salisbury said on Facebook that the elephant was "probably trumpeting in a slightly higher key" after the incident, adding, "Maybe in the future he will think twice about which bars he hangs out in?"
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