One of the first lessons of the African savannah is to not get in between a lion and its prey. You may just become the next item on the menu during the hunt.
In this video, a buffalo forgets this cardinal rule and puts itself right in the path of a hunting lioness. It begins with a herd of buffalo grazing and minding their own business. Three lionesses are hunched down in the tall grass, getting ready for the hunt. This is a common way for lions to hunt. They move slowly and softly, using stealth to keep their prey from being alerted to their presence.
One lioness goes to a shady spot and lays down. Whether she is scoping out potential prey or just taking a break, she blends right into the tall grass. The video pans from the buffalo herd to the lioness, which are less than 100 feet apart.
At this point, we can imagine where the action is going to go. The lioness sniffs at the air and opens her mouth, showing her sharp teeth. It’s not hard to picture her coiling up and launching into action, ready to take down her prey. She is smart enough to know that she can’t take down a whole herd of buffalo, however, and stays out of sight behind some tall grass.
Blissfully Unaware of Danger
The buffalo continue to get closer, grazing and swatting away bugs with their ears and tails. One buffalo comes within a few feet of the lioness as it eats. Its sharp horns are clearly visible in the video and to the lioness as well, who doesn’t make a move as the animal approaches.
Just a foot away from each other, the lioness suddenly stands up. She pauses, looking at the buffalo who stares back. Both move away from each other briefly before the lioness lunges and runs toward the entire herd. With the element of surprise lost, she tries to take down a buffalo for her meal. The herd hurries away with the lioness in hot pursuit.
This video was taken in Kruger National Park in South Africa. The person getting the footage wisely stayed inside the car. This reserve is a popular place to see African wildlife in their natural environment on safari. This video was taken by someone familiar with the region, who added comments about the experience.
“Once the buffalo walked straight up to the lion, the chase kicked off and all we saw was dust with giraffe and the buffalos scattering. The lions returned unsuccessfully and the sighting ended with heaps of dust, and confused giraffes running away with the buffaloes – and dissatisfied hungry lions.”
This wasn’t their first encounter with hunting lions or buffalo.
“We were all super excited and thought this was going to be our first kill,” the videographer added. “It was such an amazing sight! We were witnessing – not just a hunt – but what seemed like a perfectly planned strategy. We got anxious and thought the buffalo is walking straight into the jaws of death and then…well what a surprise!”
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