In a heart-stopping encounter captured in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, an eight-year-old elephant displayed remarkable courage as it fought off a relentless attack by 14 hungry lionesses.

The astonishing near-three-minute footage, taken by safari-goers, showcases the courageous herbivore’s struggle for survival against a pack of fierce predators near a watering hole.

Watch the video at the end.

Isolated from its herd, the tusked elephant is surrounded by the lionesses, who take turns pouncing on its back and sinking their teeth into its body.

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Ride along: The elephant tries to keep moving as the lionesses sink in their teeth and claws during the sunset battle in Zambia

Witnessing the intense scene, Jesse Nash, a New York-based journalist, expressed his urge to intervene but acknowledged the laws of nature were at play.

He remarked, “We were on safari as observers, witnessing a cycle of life that is, at times, very cruel.”

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I’m slipping! A lioness clings to the back of the elephant and tries to scale his backside as others circle around it

Accompanied by bystanders, including Long Island University art professor Dan Christoffel, British naturalist Steve Baker, and Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski, the observers can be heard encouraging the elephant to fight back against its assailants.

In a swift move, the elephant takes refuge in the water, attempting to shake off the relentless lions. Despite the aquatic maneuver, the lions persist, leaping into the shallows without hesitation.

After a prolonged battle against all odds, the determined elephant emerges triumphant, unscathed by the vicious assault.

All aboard: The lionesses take it in turns to jump on to the elephants back, while its makes a beeline for the safety of the water

It celebrates victory by flapping its ears, trumpeting, and frolicking in the water. Interestingly, the group of lions eventually abandons their target and discovers a buffalo for their meal, leaving the area.

The safari group, who watched the astonishing showdown from the safety of a Jeep, were on tour with the Chinzombo Camp Norman Carr Safari company.

Their guide, Innocent, expressed his astonishment at the event: “In my many years as a safari guide in Zambia’s South Luangwa, I have never witnessed anything quite like this. The elephant’s courage in fending off all 14 lions is incredible.”

Pack attack: The lionesses overcome the baby elephant, bringing it to its knees in the fight at in South Luangwa National Park

Following the intense encounter, the elephant was joyfully reunited with its 60-member herd the following day. In recognition of its bravery, it has been affectionately nicknamed Hercules.

Lets all go swimming: With the watering hole in sight the elephant gains speed as the lionesses make a final attempt to ground it 
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Home stretch: A stubborn lionesses refuses to let go as the elephant reaches the waters edge, and the cats are faced with a tough decision 
Water sports: A lioness clings on for dear life on the elephants back, as other members of the pride scurry back from the waters edge
Come on in the water’s fine: Having seen off its attackers, the elephants turns and gives chase to the scaredy cats
Catch me if you can: The elephant, safe at last, takes a few steps into the watering hole, while the angry lionesses watch on
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The hunted becomes the hunter: Refreshed and reinvigorated the elephant emerges from the water and chases one of the lionesses off

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