Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Two remarkable African elephants are fighting in the water. Both animals have their heads just above the surface. They hold each other’s trunks hold while being with nearly their entire body under the water surface.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 16 July, 2023

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This photograph was captured with a X-T2 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.4
  • Exposure time: 1/750s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length: 452.5mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 6000 by 4000 pixels (WxH).

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Two remarkable African elephants are fighting in the water. Both animals have their heads just above the surface. Their bodies are nearly fully underwater in the river while their trunks hold each other. Their white tusks contrast well against their dark, wet, grey skin. Behind the two elephants fighting in the water is the riverbank with short green grass.

Young African elephants like to fight as it tests their strength and helps them transition into growing up. Strangely, as elephants mature, they do not usually establish dominance by fighting, instead of whether they are in musth or not. Even when they make extremely thunderous noises and kick up a fuss, they seldom harm one another. Generally, elephants are peaceful and loving animals.

African elephants are a very social species. A matriarch leads the herd, and the elephant cow will make most, if not all, of the decisions. She will decide where they eat, drink, and rest. That comes through their experience and knowledge about the best water and food sources. However, if the old elephant cow in a herd passes away, their knowledge will be lost.

African elephants, Loxodonta africana, are listed in the category vulnerable on the IUCN list.

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1 comment for Two African Elephants Fighting In Water

  1. Clare

    Fantastic photo!

    • Anette Mossbacher

      Thank you, Clare.

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