Raging elephants fighting in Botswana captured in dramatic video

Two raging elephants battle for superiority in Botswana.
Two raging elephants battle for superiority in Botswana. Photo: Kathryn Bakken/Caters News

Two raging elephants squared off in a toe-to-toe, tusk-to-tusk fight in Botswana, and a safari group got caught too close, feeling a sense of danger.

“Uh, we better roll,” one man says to the driver as two elephants emerge from the bushes, locked in a duel of superiority on the Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta.

Chad and Kathryn Bakken of Los Angeles were among the tourists who watched “in complete awe” and in sadness as the two elephants battled with tusks and trunks, circling each other like boxers in the ring. Caters News had the story and video shot by the Bakkens:

“The elephants would clash for a few minutes, back off and then perform some dominance displays—such as feinting a charge or pushing into bushes and trees to show how strong they were,” Kathryn Bakken told Caters News.

“They did this dance for over an hour. We were told by our guide that it could go on all day, and sometimes ends in death.”

When the raging elephants came closer to the tourist jeep, Bakken said, “there was a real sense of danger.”

“The only time we were fearful is when we thought they might run into us,” she said. “One of the elephants broke away and headed towards the jeep, and we all froze. He obviously decided we weren’t worth his time though, and the elephants continued fighting.”

Bakken called it a humbling experience “to be so close to animals, as big as houses, slamming around next to you.”

In the end, the elephants calmed down and went their separate ways to nurse their wounds.

An hour of fighting was enough for the elephants to have their trunks bloodied. One elephant lost half a tusk in the battle.

“It was exhilarating to watch, but I also felt sad for them,” Bakken said. “I didn’t want to see anyone die, especially something as rare and beautiful as an African elephant.

“But it was natural behavior, and not something horrible like hunting or poaching, so you try to come to terms with the brutality of nature.”

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