Aggressive elephant in a dust cloud backlit after a dust bath

Aggressive Elephant posturing after a dust bath

Kanga Pan, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

After drinking at a waterhole during the dry season, this elephant retreated to enjoy a dust bath. The late afternoon light gave nice color to the backlit scene. When this elephant began to show signs of aggression, I slowly (and wisely) backed off and give it space.

There are many signs of aggression an elephants may exhibit when upset and they will use their trunks, ears and movements of its head to indicate this aggression. The ears are held out to make them look larger, they will shake their head from side to side and may raise their trunk. An angry elephant will stand tall, increasing its height by raising its head and chin and look down at an adversary over its tusks. They will often rock a foot, swinging one of the feet up and down, kicking up dust. These signs are their way of letting you know they are uncomfortable and that you should give them space or risk a charge. Photo © copyright by Dr. Edward Mikol.

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