Lone Lion Waits Behind a Hill Before Ambushing a Surprised Wildebeest

lion hunts
GUIDO BISSATTINI/Shutterstock.com

Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: October 24, 2023

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Watching predators hunt their prey is perhaps one of the most awesome things we can see. To not only be able to see it but to experience it firsthand by watching from a mere few yards away is incredible. This incredible footage shown below gives us a front-row seat to one of Africa’s fiercest predators mid-hunt.

The video was taken in Masai Mara in Kenya, Africa. A safari group has just stopped their caravan as they notice a lioness that is lying down. What gets their attention is her utter focus on something far up ahead. As they stop to watch her, they see her slowly get up and head towards some bushes. Watch what happens in the footage below!

Check Out the Video!

Lion vs. Wildebeest

For several seconds we see the lion motionless and not moving. And the video explains well why the lioness is doing this. The Massai Sightings, which posted this clip shares, “Lions will hunt by getting ahead of its prey and then wait for the prey to come to them.” They do this because, as the adage goes, “patience is key.” If the lion were to rush in, there is a 99% chance the prey would be alerted and get a jump start on running away.

As the lion patiently lies in wait, a few seconds later, we see a wildebeest off in the distance. If you pause the video at 48 seconds, it’s like we can see this wildebeest impending doom about to happen. We see his head held up high as if he is enjoying his stroll. And we see below the lion’s head held down low, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Once the wildebeest walks a few feet forward, he is directly in front of the lioness. This is when she makes her strike and leaps up. The wildebeest, in a fury, runs in the opposite direction as it possibly can. However, as we can see, the wildebeest’s speed, when caught off guard, is of no match to this lioness that was waiting to pounce.  

As large as this wildebeest is, this lion singlehandedly took this beast down with no assistance from her pride. 

How Big Are Wildebeests?

Wildebeest can run up to 50 miles per hour.

Wildebeests weigh anywhere from 136 to 272 kilograms (300-600 pounds). Their horns are about 33 inches tall, and they stand almost 5 feet tall.

This, matched with a lion weighing 120-249 kilograms (264-550 pounds) and standing 1.4-2.5 meters (4.7-8.2 feet), makes it incredible to see this lion was able to take an animal down that weighed more than she did. 


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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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