Acrobatic Lioness Launches Into the Air and Backflips to Snatch an Impala Sprinting Through the Bush!

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Written by Sharon Parry

Published: November 18, 2023

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lioness hunting
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This lioness makes it look easy to sneak up on an impala. It isn’t! Impalas have an acute sense of smell and excellent hearing. Yet, this lioness can get within feet of one of them. The predator is perfectly camouflaged amongst the long grass and has padded feet that barely make a sound on the sand. The impala runs into the lion’s path and realizes too late that it has a nasty surprise waiting for it in the undergrowth. The prey hurls itself towards the sky – but so does the lion! This incredibly agile lion manages to secure the prey in midair, and both animals come crashing to the ground. The lioness can now use her deadly skills to dispatch the impala and will soon be tucking into a large meal. Meanwhile, her pride mate looked on in admiration.

Is This How Lions Normally Hunt?

Lions are ambush predators, and this one gives us a masterclass on how to ambush your prey! Once the target is spotted, lions stalk their prey before mounting a quick charge. In this clip, however, they used an ambush strategy. They waited quietly, hidden in the long grass, for the prey to come to them. Then, the attack sequence could start.

When trying to subdue their prey, lions attack the rump and shoulders, grabbing the stricken animal with their claws. They hold on tightly while attempting to drag the prey to the ground. The lion is aiming to bite the prey around the throat region so that they can crush the animal’s windpipe and suffocate it. Lions are happy to stay in this position for 10 minutes until the prey dies.

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How Do Lions Normally Feed?

Three male lion feed on Cape buffalo

If male lions are involved in the hunt, they feed on the carcass first.


There is a hierarchy that controls how lion prides feed. Adult males will get the first opportunity to eat the carcass if they are present. They can eat up to a quarter of their body weight at once. After the males, the adult females eat, as do the sub-adults. Finally, the cubs get to feed.

Lions often guard their kill sites and remain close to a large carcass if they cannot eat it all at once. On other occasions, however, they leave the remains having gorged themselves. It will not be wasted – soon, it will be finished by scavengers such as hyenas and vultures.

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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