The Appropriate Response If Someone Threatens Your Child

Use Your Ivory

About 17 months ago, amateur photographer Kimberly Maurer visited Kenya and captured the following scene on film:

Upon landing in the famous Masai Mara, we were met by our driver and guide, John, who asked if we would like to have a game drive before heading to our camp. Along the way, we noticed a large one-tusked momma elephant with her family walking toward us.

As our vehicle pulled forward a bit, we noticed a Cape buffalo asleep under a bush about 20 feet from the road. John suggested that the buffalo might not be well. As we were watching the elephants grazing and moving toward us, the Cape buffalo raised his head and stood up, which must have been a threatening movement for the elephants. As the buffalo stepped toward the approaching elephants, the momma elephant trumpeted a warning and threw her trunk up in the air. The elephant moved closer to the buffalo and the buffalo decided to try to ram the elephant and they head butted. The buffalo fell to its knees after it lost the head butt.

The elephant then surprised us all by lowering her head and, without any warning, went straight for the buffalo. We were in complete shock as she then bent down and literally skewered the buffalo with her single tusk and lifted it straight up over her head with her tusk protruding from the other side of the buffalo.

Elephant gores Cape buffalo 9She slammed the buffalo back on the ground and backed up. She then herded her family to the other side of the road and continued to trumpet at the mortally wounded buffalo. The buffalo got up and staggered away as blood gushed from its side. He moved about ten feet away from the attack and fell to the ground. He did not immediately die as he kept his head up for a minute or so before completely collapsing.

The elephant family, now content that there was no more threat, moved along their way while my family stood in shock and disbelief about what we had just witnessed. It all happened so fast that no one had a chance to start recording a video until it was all over. The sounds of the elephants, the cry of the attacked buffalo and our screams must have woken every sleeping animal for miles. The entire attack lasted less than one minute. My camera recorded my first shot at 10:22:58 and the last one at 10:23:46. (Kimberly Maurer, Rhino Africa)

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