This Baboon Antagonizes a Lion. Then the Whole Pride Shows Up!

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: October 22, 2023
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Key Points

  • Baboons are known to be intelligent and playful animals.
  • Lions will hunt and eat any prey animal that they can catch.
  • Watch the video to see an exciting interaction between a baboon and a lion!

This video was taken at the West Serengeti Safari in Tanzania. You can hear the wind as a lion stalks something up ahead. It starts speeding up just as a woman behind the camera gasps and exclaims, “Baboon!” You can’t see anything for a few seconds, but then both the lion and baboon appear on the screen to the right of some bushes.

Although initially, the lion was the aggressor, the baboon was not having it. It takes an offensive position and charges the lion. The lion backs up, turns around, and runs away from the baboon. The lion seems to recognize it’s a worthy opponent and continues to retreat. The same woman who exclaims at the beginning of the clip says, “Baboons are tough!”

It’s not enough that the lion is retreating. The baboon keeps charging it as the lion scrambles to get away. At one point, the baboon seems to stop the chase, but the lion stops and starts taking steps back toward it as if ready for more. It stops by a small tree and breathes heavily as it looks out to the area where the baboon stopped.

Sitting lioness face forward and looking off to the side

Lion sits and looks out ahead, the way the lion does in this video, as it obsesses over a baboon.


In the background, you hear a safari car approach and stop. Suddenly, it’s as if the lion has spotted something, and it takes off running in the same direction from where it came. It spotted the baboon again and continued forward to provoke it. Again, they begin the same dance. The baboon approaches the lion (which is significantly larger) in a menacing way.

The lion backs up again. This time, the baboon isn’t charging. It’s walking with a sense of authority. The lion backs up, runs a few steps ahead, then turns around to keep its eyes on the baboon. The baboon seems unfazed by all the lion’s movements and keeps a steady gait as it continues to intimidate the lion.

“Oh, here comes the other lion … the whole pack,” say the spectators as the camera pans to spot them. The baboon doesn’t seem to have the vantage point the humans do and stays still, standing off with the lion poised several feet ahead of it. Finally, the baboon realizes it’s outnumbered.

That’s when you see three other lions approach — which makes four of them altogether. Two approaches from one side and two from the other, boxing the baboon in. You hear the horrified screams from the safari passengers as two lions take a bite out of the baboon on either side and start pulling it apart. It took only a few seconds for those lions to complete their kill.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © bowman

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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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