Baby Rhino Meets a Lion Bigger Than Them, and Doesn’t Seem Bothered by It

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: October 22, 2022
© Corrie Barnard/
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In this mesmerizing footage of a lioness checking out a baby black rhino, you can almost read the big cat’s thoughts. In theory, a lioness could tackle a baby rhino, although they would not attempt an attack on an adult. There are a few things to weigh up, however! Even baby rhinos have quite tough skin that could be hard for a lioness to penetrate and they are powerful little animals. What’s more, the mom rhino is not that far away and she has a very strong horn. She is also not going to best pleased about a lioness attacking her baby!

It takes a few minutes for this thoughtful lioness to weigh up the pros and cons and she eventually decides that it is not worth the hassle and slopes off. Meanwhile, the cute little rhino is completely unphased and is not bothered by the lion’s presence at all. Clearly, this baby rhino does not perceive the lion as a threat!

Black Rhinos in Africa

This vid was filmed in Kruger National Park in Africa and according to the video notes, these are black rhinos. Black rhinos live in the semi-desert Savannah, woodlands, and wetlands of southeastern and central Africa. You can tell them apart from white rhinos because they have a hooked upper lip rather than a square lip. This helps them browse on leaves from trees and bushes.

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They have two horns and some of them have a third posterior horn.

Having been hunted to the brink of extinction by European settlers in the 20th century, their numbers dropped to less than 2,500 – that’s just 2 percent of their original number. Thanks to conservation efforts, numbers are now back up to 5,500 but they are still considered critically endangered and more work is needed to safeguard this species. Poaching and black market trafficking of rhino horn is still a very real threat to their survival.

Western Black Rhinoceros
Thanks to conservation efforts, Black Rhino numbers are at about 5,500 – up from 2,500, but still dangerously low.


Lions Hunting in Africa

Lions have also suffered as a result of poaching and habitat loss so there are now just 20,000 left. They are large and powerful hunters and true carnivores – they have to kill other animals to survive. It is usually the female lions that hunt as they are faster and more agile than the male. This is usually done as a group but some will hunt alone. Their prey can be quite large and includes wildebeest, buffalo, and giraffes. They can also catch zebra, gazelle, and several species of antelopes. Lions will also steal a carcass killed by another animal! As we see here, a rhino is a high-risk meal that could result in injury so not many lions would give it a go.

Once the prey is caught, the male eats first followed by the females and then the cubs get what is left over.

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Rhino baby - running calf
© Corrie Barnard/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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