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The annual wildebeest migration may be one of the Seven Wonders of the natural world to us but for the male lion in this clip, it is lunch! In amongst the 1.5 million wildebeest moving at the end of the rainy season, there is a meal for this hungry lion. He creates panic amongst the herd and targets one individual who seems to be struggling.
Watch the video below to see this efficient hunting technique that resulted in a large meal for the lion.
What Is the Wildebeest Migration?
Wildebeest are a native species of Africa. They divide their year between their dry and wet ranges. The migration in this clip was heading northwest at the end of the rainy season and this is usually around May or June. It’s such a magnificent sight that it has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and tourists flock to see it. The view of 1.5 million animals moving in unison is awesome.
The wildebeest are moving to find greener pastures following the rains. This gives them superior nutrition and therefore gives them the best chance to stay healthy and reproduce. However, predators in the area know exactly what is going on! Lions and Nile crocodiles, to name just two, see the animal migration as an all-you-can-eat buffet. All they have to do is target an individual and go for it.
Is This Normal Behavior for Lions?
Lions can hunt as part of a pride but males are often seen hunting alone. As a carnivore, they have high protein needs and have to constantly catch prey to stay alive. Wildebeest are typical prey for lions and many of them become experts in catching this particular species. Lions also have a wide range of other prey including zebra, impala, and buffalo.
Lions who hunt alone are less successful than those who hunt with other lions. Having said that, the sheer volume of wildebeest here increases the chances of this lion being successful. The typical hunting technique for a lion comprises a stalk sequence followed by a quick charge. Once they are close to the target, the lion will attack the rump or shoulders of the prey dragging it to the ground. If the animal doesn’t break its neck in the fall, it will be killed with a suffocating bite to the throat!
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