This is the dramatic moment a notoriously aggressive male elephant was defeated by a younger bull – losing its prestigious mates with a female.
The jumbos, identified by wildlife officers as Siplor and Kaengkreang, pushed each other with their trunks and tusks in Chachoengsao, Thailand, on January 26.
Kaengkreang, the smaller elephant, brazenly wandered into the bigger jumbo Siplor’s territory to steal its mate from the herd. Being young and more virile, it succeeded in the end, despite his lesser stature.
The two aggressive animals were in heat during mating season so they are roaming around the forests looking for a partner.
Panya Wajadee, who lives nearby, said that Kaengkreang usually isn’t an angry elephant and always behaved itself.
He said: ‘I am amazed how brave it could be when in heat. It even challenged the bigger animal for a female.’
The farmer added that Siplor, the bigger elephant, had always been the most aggressive, stealing food and rampaging into the village garden to eat fruits.
He said: ‘On the other hand, the bigger one always roams around here and eats our fruits. We’re glad that he has been pushed out. He should look for new territory in the forest.’
Officers from the Wild Elephant Surveillance Unit said they will continue to monitor the movements of the jumbos as they could be aggressive during the mating season.
He said: ‘We are always available in case the villagers call us for help. There are several herds of elephants roaming the area right now.’
Male Asian elephants typically roam alone away from herds – only joining groups in order to breed.
An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild in Thailand and a similar number in captivity, where they live in sanctuaries, zoos or work privately for hire at weddings and festivals.
In the wild, there is a conflict when they come in contact with humans who also use the area for farming and gathering food.
Elephants are a protected animal in Thailand and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).