Elephants rape Rhinos and kill them. Is this for real? Do elephants really rape and kill rhinos? It hardly sounds realistic or plausible, but it is completely true and has been documented several times, even being captured on camera. It is completely understandable for an elephant to kill a rhino in self defence, practically every animal will defend themselves or their territory, but raping them? They aren’t even the same species. But this isn’t the first time we have seen this in the animal kingdom, We already know sea otters rape and kill baby seals, so we shouldn’t be that surprised. Maybe it’s just that we weren’t expecting it.
The more I look into the fascinating animal kingdom, the more I discover that shocks me beyond belief. I really should be getting used to it by now, but for some reason each time I find a new horrifying secret it still manages to surprise me each time. So the question remains, why would such a graceful animal such as an elephant behave in such an aggressive way?
Since the early 1990’s in South African game reserves, park rangers have noticed an increase in elephant aggression. It was first identified in an increase in aggressive acts towards human, and studies were undertaken to try and identify the cause of the behavior. It was with these studies that they discovered that young male elephants were raping and killing rhinos. In a 2001 study there were a reported 63 rhino deaths caused by elephants. While the number of deaths was recorded, the number of rapes of rhinos by elephants was not recorded. The percentage of deaths amongst elephants caused by their own species was a staggering 90 percent. Unfortunately the attacks on other animals and humans leads to authorities having no other option but to destroy some aggressive males.
Is there a reason elephants rape rhinos?
It is believed that the cause behind the elephants acting in such an aggressive manner is instability in their communities. This particular behaviour has not been recorded in all reserves, and in fact the more socially stable elephant herds show significantly lower levels of aggression.
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