Rhino fails to intimidate bull elephant in tense stand-off

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A bull elephant and a rhinoceros engage in a tense stand-off in South Africa. A visitor to a South African wildlife reserve captured video of a tense confrontation between a rhinoceros and the bull elephant that it failed to intimidate.

Rhino fails to intimidate bull elephant in tense stand-off

Joe Gregory, 34, whose video was posted to the Kruger Sightings channel on YouTube, said he was on vacation visiting a reserve that can only be reached by boat when he and his companions encountered the herd of elephants and a nearby crash of rhinos.

“It was an absolutely amazing sensation to see & be a part of the standoff where a young elephant bull in musth showed this male white rhino who was boss. We could all physically feel the testosterone aura which surrounded the battlefield of these 2 ancient rivals,” Gregory said.

The rhino repeatedly appeared as though it was going to charge the elephant, but it backed off each time when the larger animal failed to flee.

Gregory said the encounter appeared to end in a “stalemate,” but the elephant appears to have at least won the battle of intimidation after responding to the rhino’s charge feint by throwing a tree branch, leading the rhino to back away from the confrontation.

 

Musth is a condition unique to elephants, which has still not been scientifically explained. It affects sexually mature male elephants usually between the ages of 20 and 50. It occurs annually and lasts for a period of between 2 to 3 weeks, usually during the hot season. During this time, the elephant becomes highly agitated, aggressive and dangerous. Even normally placid animals have been known to kill people and other elephants when in the full throes of musth. The reasons for its occurrence are not fully understood. The animal is sexually agitated, but musth is not thought to be entirely sexual in nature. When in musth, a strong smelling oily secretion flows from a gland above the eye.

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