Shocking Footage of Baby Elephant Tossed Around by Adult, Explained | National Geographic

A young bull elephant tosses around a baby elephant, which animal expert Joyce Poole says may be a case of confusion. Viewer discretion is advised.
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Tourists at Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa capture disturbing footage of a baby elephant being picked up and thrown to the ground multiple times by a young bull elephant. Elephant biologist and conservationist Joyce Poole of ElephantVoices explains that the young male may be acting out of confusion from the scent of the baby’s mother, who he mistakenly believes is receptive to mating.

Read more in “Why This Male Elephant Attacked a Newborn Calf”

Learn more about African elephants.

Shocking Footage of Baby Elephant Tossed Around by Adult, Explained | National Geographic

National Geographic


25 thoughts on “Shocking Footage of Baby Elephant Tossed Around by Adult, Explained | National Geographic

  1. Fascinating!
    For an animal known for its intelligence, an inability to distinguish a newborn calf from a mother seems rather dumb. Even if they smell the same, not withstanding the poor eyesight the elephants have, at such close quarters it should’ve been very clear that the calf isn’t a mature female. Very interesting.

  2. The large dominant male is the first to get his tusks removed by poachers. When the large dominant males are gone, the young males do what they want. Sound familiar?

  3. I've learned in one documentary on TV that during mating season hot serum is secreted by the bull elephant during mating season which is very painful. It is triggered by a hormone that makes the bull very aggressive during the mating season which is why they try to vent it out on various things (small calfs, trees, other males, etc…)

  4. Reading the comment below, the young male is doing this because he herd lacks and older male (father figure to keep him check). Sounds like some neighborhoods. They lack father figures and so the the young males act out. Easy fix would be to stop incentivizing females to raise children with out farthers. As for the elephants, just let nature run its course. However I wouldn't mind seeing the elephant getting dropped on his head s few times. Let him see how it feels.

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