...whose hunger for elephants will likely only grow
December 23, 2005 9:04 PM   Subscribe

National Geographic Video of 7 lions attempting to kill & eat a full grown elephant. embedded wmv, amusingly hyperbolic narrator
posted by jonson (29 comments total)
Detroit Lions?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:14 PM on December 23, 2005

Where are all the men?
posted by billysumday at 9:14 PM on December 23, 2005

Ok, that ruled. Mostly because of the one lion trying to put a sleeper hold on the elephant. Screw the rest of the lions, they were just jumping up and trying to look important; THAT one though, man she could really hold on.
posted by Stunt at 9:30 PM on December 23, 2005

I just found myself yelling, "go elephant!" at my computer screen. Thanks jonson.
posted by item at 9:34 PM on December 23, 2005

yeah, i was pleased to see the elephant escape. I'm not sure why, I certainly identify more with the kitties, and from a purely kindhearted standpoint, one animal's death (the elephant) should be less troubling than 7 animals starving, but I guess the immediacy of the moment makes one root for the underdog, or in this case, underpachyderm.

Oh yeah, and sorry to ruin the end for anyone who read this comment prior to watching the video.
posted by jonson at 9:42 PM on December 23, 2005

Wow, that was intense. The narration was pretty dumb though.
posted by agropyron at 9:44 PM on December 23, 2005

jonson : "and sorry to ruin the end for anyone who read this comment prior"

Actually, that fault is in the FPP itself..

"..of 7 lions attempting to kill & eat.."
posted by Gyan at 9:46 PM on December 23, 2005

posted by chef_boyardee at 9:47 PM on December 23, 2005

Poor lions. I hope they don't go hungry.
posted by sourwookie at 10:46 PM on December 23, 2005


Me, I'm gonna go make a sandwich from the leftover elephant in the fridge...
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:48 PM on December 23, 2005

You know, after sending this to a friend we had a conversation about how this elephant seemed to be all "oh noes!!1!!two!! lions!" and not really doing anything about it. Like kicking. Or stomping. I've seen some MEAN videos of what happens to lions when they try this.

Of course this lead to her asking if I knew that elephants couldn't jump. Which of course, would be horrid. I mean, STOMPING, that's be bad enough. But JUMPING? oh man. immediately this flashed through my head:

they'd be all "rawr. elephant. rawr." and one would be all "fuck THAT noise. you hear about harold? no, seriously, screw this"

and they'd be all "rawr. hungry. made of MANY meat". and he'd be all "no. FUCK THAT. those fuckers can JUMP ON YOU. MOTHER FUCKING *JUMP*. Fuck this, I'm going vegatarian. Mmmm, looks, roots! " "but, rawr, elephant? meat?" "fuck. that. roots don't JUMP"

Anyway, yeah. *cough*. Sorry about the profanity there. For some reason that just went through my head during that conversation.
posted by Stunt at 11:05 PM on December 23, 2005

I dunno, Stunt, there was one point where all the lines seemed to be on one side, and I thought if the elephant would just roll over, it could take the whole pride at once.

I, too, was happy the elephant got away, but I wonder what its chances of survival are. I always thought lions never fucked with adult elephants, but I guess not. (if they explained in the video, I didn't listen because of the comments about the lame audio.) I mean, I've seen them fail at taking water buffalo down.

I was wondering if it was a young lone male elephant since it seemed to be in musk and would have given the lions a much better opportunity for the kill than to have a whole pod around. Still, seems pretty risk. Unless there was something else wrong we humans couldn't detect. (and yet it still managed to get away.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:33 PM on December 23, 2005

Yeah, it is extremely rare. Lions only do it out of desperation. I guess when faced with the options 1) starve 2) maybe die trying to eat an elephant, option two is looking pretty good.

Of course, all bets are off if elephants could jump. No amount of hunger could convince me to charge one then.

Previously mentioned friend told me that under similar circumstances lions will take down cape buffalo, but they usually need a male lion to help out. Kind of surprised one wasn't involved with the elephant incident. Maybe they just figured because one of them knew the sleeper hold they'd be good.

I still think that elephant did a minimal amount of kicking and lion stomping compared to what I've seen previously. Maybe she was just really hungry and tired herself.

Think about it though; jumping. elephants. Is not that one of the more terrifying (or possibly goofy) things you can imagine?
posted by Stunt at 11:54 PM on December 23, 2005

"And with each taste of their enemy's blood, they grew EVEN BOLDER!"

Seriously, did the narrator think he was doing a trailer for this summer's blockbuster movie event?!

Cool video tho
posted by banishedimmortal at 12:04 AM on December 24, 2005

It seemed really sad to me because I've always heard about elephants travelling in herds and such. Then here's one just crying out and there is no response. It was like knowing there were more elephants out there but none of them came, that's why it seemed sad to me.

Then she was like, 'oh yeah! I can get away on my own' and she got up and ran away and I was happy.
posted by Phantomx at 3:24 AM on December 24, 2005

Amazing video.

A couple of nights ago Animal Planet ran a show called Heart of a Lion about a solo lioness without a pride that had adopted an orphan baby oryx. Both the lioness and oryx were slowly starving, but the lioness' maternal instinct overrode her hunger, and she treated the oryx calf as her cub. They were together for several days or even perhaps weeks, with the lioness cuddling the calf and protecting her from predators. Unfortunately, she did not have any milk and couldn't nurse the starving calf (as I said, she herself was on the brink of starvation). Finally a male lion killed the oryx with the lioness watching helplessly close by --she was obviously very upset and concerned, but was too afraid of the male lion to intervene. At this point I was sobbing like a littul schoolgirl. But at least the lioness managed to kill a warthog the following day and avoid starvation.

The host said that in the following year the lioness adopted five more stranded/orphaned oryx calves, with some dying of starvation, others escaping from their benevolent captor that was inadvertently causing them to starve, and one escaping and being reunited with her mother. It went against all the principles of nature, and really brought home the power of the maternal instinct.
posted by Devils Slide at 3:31 AM on December 24, 2005

um ... perhaps even weeks.
posted by Devils Slide at 3:34 AM on December 24, 2005

Metafilter: Of course, all bets are off if elephants could jump.
posted by eriko at 6:10 AM on December 24, 2005

I just kept thinking... "and National Geographic used to do quality media"...

Sensationalist crap.... I expect better of them.
posted by HuronBob at 8:36 AM on December 24, 2005

which is more endangered - lions or elephants?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2005

which is more endangered - lions or elephants?

Depends. In some areas one, in some the other. I think on the whole elephants are more endangered, but there are areas where their populations have grown enough that they are culled.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:22 AM on December 24, 2005

posted by dazed_one at 9:48 AM on December 24, 2005

The Case of the Jumping Elephant.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:05 AM on December 24, 2005

Awesome link, greatgefilte. That was definitely worth the read.

It also should let lions of the world sleep a little better tonight, knowing that an elephant-delivered flying elbow drop is nothing more than a story their parents tell them to scare them into eating all of their gazelle. After all, there are starving cubs in Asia!.
posted by Stunt at 11:00 AM on December 24, 2005

I love the fact they don't trust people to understand the drama of the situation - exactly how many lightening flashes were used instead of straight cutting?

- with the absurd music track and the IN A WORLD announcer...it's like TV for real small kids...which makes me distrust what I actually saw since the whole thing was so massaged.
posted by jettloe at 1:05 PM on December 24, 2005

The repeated shot of lightning sure made it dramatic. I almost stifled a yawn. I agree with HuronBob - I was watching it expectantly, but then realized it was over. No resolution, no jumping elephants. Whatever - I appreciate that it's not normal behavior, but animals are just zany these days. I blame Bush.
posted by hypersloth at 11:14 PM on December 24, 2005

> it's like TV for real small kids

It is. It's National Geographic.
posted by pracowity at 8:41 AM on December 25, 2005

Damn, couldn't see anything. It's all black with the occasional gray smear. Too bad it happened at night.
posted by ktoad at 5:59 PM on December 26, 2005

Interesting video, but the narration made me yearn for the dulcet tones of David Attenborough.

If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, you should check out The Life of Mammals. It's endlessly fascinating and beautifully filmed.
posted by scottjlowe at 12:44 AM on December 29, 2005

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