What a flap! Birds beat elephants in war over watering hole

Ruth Doherty
What a flap! Birds beat elephants in fight over watering hole
What a flap! Birds beat elephants in fight over watering hole


If birds could speak, we'd imagine they might have been saying: "This watering hole ain't big enough for the both of us."

The tenacious red-billed queleas joined forces to protect their roosting spot from thirsty elephants looking to use their drinking pool.

And, remarkably, the tiny animals managed to ward off the five-ton elephants, and their efforts were rewarded.

Photographer Antero Topp, 60, caught the whole thing on camera at the Satao Camp waterhole in East Tsavo, Kenya.

According to The Sun, he explained: "The birds spent most of the time feeding somewhere close to the waterhole but every morning and evening they gathered in huge flocks close to the water.

"There are big trees close to the waterhole where the birds landed and at that time we suddenly heard a strong crack.

"A huge branch had been broken by the weight of these tiny birds despite them only weighing about ten grams each.

"All the birds took off and you could hear an unbelievable whoosh, and after that the birds' ear-breaking calls.

"Despite their size, faced with the huge flocks of birds I was surprised to see the elephants actually back away maybe 50 metres, and some even ran.

"I think the elephants were afraid of the size and shape of the flocks and the almost supernatural whoosh noise made as they all took to the air."

Hopefully the beautiful elephants found somewhere else close by to fill up their trunks in peace.

In other elephant news, a pachyderm at a zoo in Amsterdam has become the first in Europe to have a contact lens fitted.

The 44-year-old elephant, called Win Thida, damaged her cornea when she was playing with friends at the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam.

The vet had to climb a stepladder to fit the lens, in an operation that took over an hour.


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