These Buffalo Say ‘Enough’ and Team Up Against a Lion

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Key Points:

  • This article covers a video of a herd of buffalo teaming up against a lion.
  • Lions usually hunt in prides and will attempt to take out weak or sick buffalo.
  • Buffalo use other members of their herd and the strategy of strength in numbers to keep each other safe.

Although buffalos are prey animals, they don’t go down without a fight. They come together in herds and use their strength in numbers to protect each other. In this video, lions don’t stand a chance. They’re outnumbered and intimidated, which means the buffalos in this clip get to live another day.

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Watch how these buffalos turn the tables in this awesome nature scene.

Do Lions Prey on Buffalo?

Lions hunt in prides, which allows them to take down animals that tower over them. Although they frequently take down other prey including zebras, antelopes, and wildebeests, they seem to have a particular affinity for buffalos. Since buffalos travel in herds, it’s not such an easy feat for lions to take one of the herd members down. When they try, the other buffalos activate their bravery and launch a counterattack.

How Do Buffalos Defend Themselves?

Whereas other prey animals may just run to save themselves, buffalos use their strength in numbers. They also use their curvy, pointed horns and brute force to fight back and eventually escape the threat. Even if a lion pride manages to ambush a solitary buffalo, the fight may go on for hours. Both animals exert immense energy during a fight like this and the kill isn’t always a guarantee for the lions.

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When this clip starts, you see how aggressive buffalo can get toward lions, as they’ve chased one up a tree and continue their menacing attack. Then, the video takes you to the start of the fight. This footage was taken at the MalaMala Game Reserve and displays what happens when lions go up against two buffalo herds.

There are visitors on-site on safari, cameras out, as the buffalos run back and forth. The next scene cuts to a lion that’s found refuge in a tree. It uses its claws to keep the buffalos from approaching. It’s a full stand-off at this point with the lion in a vulnerable position. The buffalo herds have managed to turn the tables this time.

Two males lions attack buffalo

Two male lions attack a buffalo from behind – no wonder the buffalos in this clip fight back.

©nwdph/Shutterstock.com

It’s a remarkable sight as the open-sided safari vehicle with several passengers on board takes the sight in from the backdrop, incredibly close to the unfolding scene. Aside from the lion seeking safety in a tree, there is a second lion that’s a bit brazen. It runs away when a buffalo approaches but immediately comes running back, moving the buffalo herd away from the lion in the tree.

Each of these animals works to protect its own. The safari guide can be heard asking passengers to stay seated. She explains that the two buffalo herds have come together to chase the two lions away. Almost mockingly, several buffalos approach the lion in the tree for a stare-down. The lion doesn’t budge.

Eventually, the lion jumps off the tree and makes its way, along with the other lion, away from the buffalo herds. The herds then enjoy some time in a watering hole before the video continues to show a different encounter between a leopard and a crocodile.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Mark Haeussler


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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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