Spotted in the Kruger: Elephant casually topples tree to reach food

Posted on 8 April 2024 By Savanna Douglas

Whilst on a game drive in MalaMala Game Reserve in the greater Kruger National Park region, a group of safari-goers witnessed the extraordinary sight of an elephant using his strength to casually topple a tree for food. 

Elephants, dubbed at times as ‘gentle giants’ and at others, ‘troublemakers’, are in fact, unsung heroes of biodiversity in African ecosystems.

On the rare occasion that one spots an elephant toppling a tree – as David den Hartog in MalaMala Game Reserve did – it may seem like a bit of a ‘wrecking ball’ moment. However, this seemingly ‘disruptive’ move actually creates opportunities for all kinds of wildlife to thrive, making elephants the architects of the bush.

The viral video, captured by David den Hartog and uploaded by Latest Sightings, has amassed over 11.2 million views on TikTok alone:

@latestsightingsElephant casually pushes down tree 😳♬ original sound – Latest Sightings


In the footage, it only takes the gentle giant a few solid tugs to completely topple the tree. This remarkable sighting perfectly demonstrates the delicate dance between elephants and their environment.

The next time you spot a bokkie munching on leaves from a fallen tree, it likely has an ellie-friend to thank for it.

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