Lions and elephants are two of Africa's most formidable species, but what happens when these iconic animals have a chance encounter at a waterhole? This video footage from South Africa provides some insight:  

A live webcam in Naledi Game Lodge, in the Balule Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park, gives viewers the opportunity to covertly observe what wild animals get up to when they think nobody’s watching. Lions probably wouldn't want this footage tarnishing their reputation as Africa's apex predators, but this lioness sure turned into a scaredy-cat when an elephant started drinking from a well right next to where she was snoozing.  

The footage shows a lioness resting beside a raised drinking well. When she heard something approaching, the curious cat craned her neck and sat up to see a young elephant sauntering towards the watering hole. The elephant stopped in its tracks and – sensing danger – raised its trunk into the air to sniff for potential threats. Elephants have an excellent sense of smell. In fact, some research suggests they could possibly be the best smellers in the animal kingdom. They use their elongated noses to detect food and water as well as sniff out any looming dangers.

As the elephant approached the well from one side, the lion crept around the opposite side trying its best to remain unseen. The elephant started to drink from the well while the weary lion watched closely from her nearby hiding spot. As the elephant slurped up another mouthful, it suddenly noticed the lioness and sprayed the nervous cat with a trunkful of water. The lioness quickly dashed away with a charging, trumpeting mini-tusker in tow. Lucky for the lion, it was just a mock charge and she lived to see another day. Perhaps she’d think twice about taking her catnap next to a water source next time.  

Despite elephants having an exceptional sense of smell, this youngster seemed to have difficulty figuring out how far away the lion was lurking. When it comes to watering holes, elephants rule and are often seen chasing lions and other wildlife away to claim the best drinking spots.