Witness an Epic Clash Between Wild Dogs and Elephants

4 Pups at play

It was a late afternoon in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park when Sabine Featherby of Baines’ River Camp came across a rare pack of wild dogs that had just brought five pups out of their den site.

“The last time I saw wild dogs in the Zambezi Valley was in 2006,” remembers Featherby, “so seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild again was very exciting!”

The pack was completely at ease, enjoying an afternoon siesta and hiding from the November heat.

Photo by Sabine Featherby

“We had the wonderful opportunity to photograph some of the pups,” Featherby says. “An elephant bull joined the scene and proceeded to feed on a bush about 20 meters from the dogs.”

In the midst of such a tranquil scene, nobody could have predicted the pending chaos.

As the sun set over the escarpment, the entire pack moved into the open area, where the pups started to play—their distinctive high-pitched giggles echoing through the bush.

“Everybody was focused on the interaction between the dogs,” Featherby says “And then, without warning, the elephant bull charged the dogs at full speed. He was trumpeting and flapping his ears as the pack scattered away.”

The other adult members of the pack gathered their courage, moved in, and chased the elephant from the den site.

The trumpeting alerted other elephants in the area, and a group of four bulls strode into view. One of the elephants charged, but the adult dogs fended him off, and forced the four bulls into the surrounding bush.

13 3rd charge
Photo by Sabine Featherby
11 2nd charge
Photo by Sabine Featherby

Five minutes later, another lone bull appeared and determinedly charged at the pack.

The dogs were on their feet in an instant. As the bull got within a few —> Read More