Tiny impala comes face to face with huge elephant

This is the spectacular moment an antelope comes eye to eye with a way much bigger elephant fella. A wildlife photographer was at the right place at the right time to capture the tiny animal leaping into the air just in front of the massive mammal. The unusual scene unfolded in the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.

Janet Kleyn

The agile impalas are well know for their incredible jumping abilities. They leap enormous distances mostly as a way to protect against predators, but as it turns out, they can do it for entertainment, too.

52-year-old photographer, Janet Kleyn was trying to catch some nice shots of an elephant that was approaching a pond in the reserve, when witnessed the once-in-a lifetime moment.


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“I was sitting in an underground photographic hide at Mashatu Game Reserve, photographing the elephant approaching the water,” the woman told MailOnline. “The impala was drinking off to the left and all of a sudden jumped into my viewfinder and I got the shot.”

Although the moment seems more like a friendly encounter between the two, the tiny antelope was actually trying to defend its territory as it sees the elephant as an intruder.

Janet Kleyn

“The way that the impalas jump is thought to be a way of showing off and demonstrating their strength and ability to the intruder,” Kleyn said. “It is obvious that this impala didn’t notice the approaching elephant. He had only just caught sight of him as he got closer to the water. But the elephant remained calm and friendly.”

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