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Crocodile launches surprise attack

Well-placed tourist captures elephant ambush

Crocodile launches surprise attack
23 November 2010

We’ve all been there. You’re having a quiet drink when someone suddenly blunders in and ruins it. Luckily for you, it’s usually just because they’ve had a couple too many rather than because they’re trying to eat you.

So spare a thought for this African elephant in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Venturing down to the river with its calf, it was suddenly attacked by a 20ft long Nile crocodile who bit into its trunk. And then refused to let go.

Eventually — after a full 15 seconds of terror --— the elephant managed to shake the reptile free. But it wasn’t over yet.

It crashed into the calf, who subsequently lost its balance and landed on the crocodile. And it was the calf’s fall that ultimately saved the pair — weighing 200lb at birth, the croc was stunned into submission long enough for the two of them to flee the riverbank and escape.

The whole incident was captured on camera by Martin Nyfeler. And he’s not even a professional photographer. The Swiss tourist was simply hoping for a few holiday snaps of the local wildlife to take home when the crocodile initiated the life-or-death tug-of-war. It goes to show the importance of carrying a camera at all times. Although you probably won’t have the same luck if you’ve gone on a canoeing holiday down the Dordogne.