Kim Hathway captured an amazing wildlife interaction of an elephant doing its utmost to save a rhino that was stuck in mud in a waterhole from a pride of lions in Etosha National Park in Namibia.
Hathway told latestsightings.com that she and her friends were the only people at the Aus waterhole at the time.
Having had no luck with their sightings, they were just about to leave the waterhole when a lioness stuck her head over the hill. The rest of her pride soon followed and made their way towards the waterhole. Hathway had a feeling that they were ready for action.
A few minutes later, a large black rhino came galloping over the same hill.
Exhausted by the Namibian heat, it headed straight for the little water that remained in the waterhole. It instantly plonked itself down, trying to cool off.
Hathway couldn’t believe her luck. At the time, the rhino didn’t seem to care about the nearby predators; it was too set on getting a drink, but the lions were aware of it.
The lions inched their way closer and closer, but the rhino didn’t react. It was as if it couldn’t. This is when Hathway realised something was wrong. The waterhole was quite deep and had thick mud at the bottom. The rhino was stuck and became a sitting duck for the hungry lions.
Although they knew it was stuck, the lions were aware of the danger and approached with caution, using hunting tactics to try and finish the job.
Sadly, there wasn’t much the immobile rhino could do, but the commotion created by the lions amazingly gave it a lifeline – a passing herd of elephants saw what was happening and acted immediately, charging the pride. The lions were forced to back off.
With the threat out of sight, most of the herd continued on their way, but one elephant wasn’t happy to leave the rhino at the mercy of the lions. It desperately tried to get the rhino out of the waterhole. Using its tusks and foot, it pushed and pushed, without luck.
This lasted for hours but the elephant could do no more. It had to move on, even though the lions were still there.
It didn’t take long for the pride to swing back into action, eventually flipping the rhino onto its back, leading to its inevitable drowning.