This Lioness Thought She Was Hunting Buffalo – Then the Herd Arrived

lioness
nwdph/Shutterstock.com

Written by Colby Maxwell

Updated: October 17, 2023

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Key Points:
  • The video starts by showing us a very large water buffalo chasing a small lion cub.
  • When the cub realizes the buffalo has turned on it, the cub runs, climbs up a tree, and waits for a rescue.
  • The mother lion arrives but instead of the buffalo running away, they actually turn on the mother too.

Lions are, without a doubt, some of the top predators in the entire world. A single lion can take down massive creatures on the plains of Africa, and an entire pride of lions is able to take down almost any animal it encounters. Still, as deadly as a lion can be, there are some instances where they have to be reminded that they aren’t totally invincible! This video from Maasai Sightings is a pretty good example of just that, when we see what it looks like for the hunter to become the hunted.

Check Out the Video Clip Below!

The action takes place in Kruger National Park, a South African game reserve that has “the Big Five,” including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos.

The video starts by showing us a very large water buffalo chasing a small lion cub. Maybe a scene like this one inspired The Lion King! Despite the cub being a lion, it isn’t large enough to seriously threaten a creature as large as an adult water buffalo. When the cub realizes the buffalo has turned on it, the cub does what it knows to do: run! Climbing up a tree, the cub waits for rescue.

And does that rescue arrive! Only a few seconds later, mama lion comes around the corner, looking to see where her little cub went. As she approaches the situation, she realizes what has gone down. Deciding that she has had enough of the situation, she runs in and tries to dissuade the buffalo from chasing her little cub.

What happens next, however, is wild! Instead of the buffalo running away, they actually turn on the mother, too! Even more, the buffalo isn’t solo anymore but is backed up by its entire herd. Even though a lioness is powerful, she isn’t more powerful than an entire herd of water buffalo!

buffalo

Even apex predators like lions can’t overpower an entire buffalo herd.

A buffalo chased a cub up a tree and its mother ran to help only to find a buffalo herd there and she had to take refuge up a tree.

In what’s basically a repeat situation, the lioness then finds itself stuck on a tree, just like her cub!

Annoyed and angry, the lioness tries to scare the herd of buffalo away with some growls and teeth, but they really don’t seem to care. In a straight-up face-off, the two massive animals just look at each other one in a tree and the other on the ground.

Eventually, the buffalos get tired of the silly game and start to wander off. This break allows the lioness to climb down from her tree and make her escape. You better believe that she is going to be teaching her cub a lesson about starting fights you can’t finish! She just lost her entire day of hunting because she was stuck in a tree. Kids — they never learn!

Lioness Panthera leo with cub

A lioness will be extremely protective of her cubs, like the above video shows.


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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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