Lion Tries Ambushing a Baby Zebra But Its Mother Refuses And Stomps on the Lion’s Head

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 9, 2023

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Zebra and Baby
Zachary Zirlin/

The term “mama bear” does not just stick with the famous bears that we see in the wild. The reason this term has stuck so closely to bears is because of their ferocious protection of their young. This is why when we come across bear cubs, we are warned by so many who study bears not to come close to their cubs. A mama bear will go to great lengths to protect her cubs. 

Well, the case of a protective “mama bear” is not just for bears. In this crazy video shown below, we see a zebra mama who goes to great lengths to protect her young zebra from the claws of a lion. Before we can properly dive into the video of seeing this incredible chase on the open plains in Africa, we have to understand just how large this predator, the lion, is. And just how big this prey, the zebra, is. 

Is It Normal Behavior For Zebras to Attack Lions?

plains zebra, equus quagga, equus burchellii, common zebra, Kruger national park

Zebras can kill a male lion and break a crocodile’s jaw just by kicking it.

Zebras have hard and sharp hooves that can be dangerous if on the wrong end of a kick. A zebra kick is strong enough to break the jaw of a crocodile. In fact, there are reports of instances of zebras killing male lions in defensive acts.

Additionally, zebras are commonly hunted by lions and rely heavily on their remarkable speed as their primary defense. Yet, despite their swiftness, zebras don’t always flee when confronted by lions.

This hesitation stems from the lion’s predatory abilities and is capable of quickly overtaking and subduing a zebra if they close in within a certain range.

How Big are Lions?

African lion (Panthera leo) - Female, in the gravel road, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari desert, South Africa.

The lion can run up to 35 miles per hour.

Lions (Panthera leo) are known as the apex predators in the animal kingdom. They have earned the title and the right as the king of the jungle. These felines can reach up to 120-249 kilograms (2640-550 pounds) in weight. They can reach up to 1.4-2.5 meters (4.7-8.2 feet) in length. 

How Big are Zebras?

Etosha National Park, Namibia

The zebra can run up to 25 miles per hour.

Zebras (Equus zebra, Equus quagga, Equus grevyi) are large mammals found exclusively in Africa. They can reach up to 175-450 kilograms (386-992 pounds) in weight. And they reach up to 2-2.75 meters (6.6-9 feet) in length. 

Now, we turn to look at this video posted below. Since 2022, this video has not reached over 167,000 views. There is an open plain of zebras and wildebeest grazing together. If we watch the transition between three and four seconds, we see how quickly all of these animals disperse. There is a disruption. This disturbance is a lion who is making his way into this herd to cut one off and find himself an easy meal. 

He lands on a baby zebra. While this meal would not necessarily fill him up, it would be enough to give him the snake he needs. However, in no time at all, we see this mama zebra come in and buck this lion’s head in an attempt to save her baby’s life. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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