Most people find it extremely interesting that elephants are classified as having no natural enemies. However, that doesn’t mean they are always safe out there in the wild. They can become prey to many animals including lions and tigers. This is mainly though if one of them is weak or very young. Since elephants form tight herds it is hard for predators to get them alone unless one falls behind the rest. For the most part elephants are very healthy so it isn’t often that one is able to become a meal for predators.
Due to the many changes out there in the wild for many animals, there are some meat eaters that get brave from time to time. They will try to find slow moving young elephants when there is nothing else out there to eat. Since the herds of elephants don’t hide from meat eaters out there it can make them an attractive moving target. These predators do realize that adult elephants can kill them if they aren’t careful but if they are hungry enough they are going to take a chance.
Since elephants do so spend so much time in the water, the young can become victims of crocodiles in the water. It isn’t very often that one will take the attempt to bring down a small elephant though. It seems that it is an unspoken law of the wild to not mess with elephants or their offspring.
It can happen but most of the time these young animals are extremely safe within the herd. Not only does their mother keep a close eye on them, but they also get watched by the other females in the herd. The repercussions to such predators when they do kill young elephants is extremely fierce.
Hyenas often hang around elephant herds when they recognize signs of one being sick or too old to last much longer. They will feed upon these elephants after they have died. What is amazing is that in many areas these elephants tend to go to a given location to die. They internally must know that they don’t have long to live.
The hyenas will be hanging around these areas too as they are scavengers for food, and an elephant is going to be quite feast. These locations where they often end up are referred to as elephant graveyards. There are piles of bones from those that have found it to be their final destination.
The biggest problem for elephants though comes from humans. It is no secret that they have been hunted for decades for their ivory tusks. With the weapons that humans have today the animals are simply no match for it. While there are stories of elephants invading villages due to hunting these incidents are very rare.
The number of elephants that are killed annually for their tusks isn’t really known. However, it is believed to be extremely high. It is also believed to be the primary reason why the numbers of these animals continue to get smaller. Even with trade restrictions on it, there is still a high demand on it within the black market.
Humans also are predators of the land where elephants live. They wish to use that land for their own needs including homes, businesses, and clearing them out to make money from selling what is found there. This type of industry might make money for these people but at the price of the future for the elephants that are left with no where to go for the food and water they thrive on for survival.