A crocodile in Malawi's Liwonde National Park learned a painful lesson recently when it attacked a baby elephant just meters away from the rest of its herd. While footage of the encounter may be difficult for some viewers to watch, it's an example of just how tough life is for both predator and prey in the African bush.

The dramatic sighting was captured by safari-goer Alexander Makanga during a guided boat tour in the park. The group initially suspected the struggle would end quite differently, but after a tense few moments, one of the adult elephants came to the calf's rescue.

Being stomped by an African elephant is no joke: these animals tip the scales at an impressive 3-5.5 tons. Still, crocs are extremely resilient, too. In an interview with UPI, Makanga said he was certain the scaly predator sustained at least some injuries, but it is possible that the animal survived the counter-attack. 

A few commenters on YouTube have also suggested the calf died after the clash – but at the time of posting, no information from the park indicates this is true. A trunk wound of this nature is definitely a serious injury, but it isn't necessarily a death sentence. An elephant's trunk might be a vital appendage, but we've seen maimed animals adapt to trunk defects before. And a few years ago, our crews filmed an even younger calf seemingly coping with a trunk defect in the wilds of Botswana:

We'll update you on this story if more information comes to light, so watch this space. 

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Top header image: Matthew Rogers/Flickr