Watch Four Camouflaged Lions Instantly Take Down an Oblivious Wildebeest

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Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Wildebeest in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
© Chris EasonCamera location24° 45′ 57.79″ S, 31° 53′ 31.74″ E View this and other nearby images on: OpenStreetMap-24.766054; 31.892150, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Points:

  • Due to their poor eyesight and colorblindness, wildebeests depend on their other senses to detect threats and navigate their surroundings.
  • The footage portrays a solitary wildebeest walking through Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.
  • The strongest protection for a wildebeest is being part of a herd. If a wildebeest finds itself alone, it can try to flee from the danger zone.

You’ve seen videos of distracted humans with a downward gaze at their phones, sometimes walking into poles or pools or even into traffic.

A lack of spatial awareness can easily make the difference between life and death, as the video below perfectly demonstrates.

Do Wildebeests Have Good Vision?

Wildebeests are colorblind and have generally poor eyesight, which is why they rely on their other senses to help them detect danger and navigate the wild. Their sense of hearing and their sense of smell is ultimately what help them find food sources and stay alive.

These animals graze throughout the day and overnight with only occasional naps. They often travel in herds as a means of protection and are most vulnerable when caught alone.

How Do Wildebeests Defend Themselves?

A wildebeest’s best defense is its herd. If they are alone, they may be able to run out of the danger zone. However, lions are quick to take these large prey animals down and once they hit the ground, lions kill them almost instantly.

When male wildebeests get territorial, they fight one another using their anvil-shaped horns. They also use these to fend off predators if they get a chance.

pride of lions

Lions hunt in groups called pride.


Oblivious Wildebeest Tries to Run From a Losing Battle

In the video below, a wildebeest is alone walking through Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Unbeknownst to it, there is a pride of lions lying in wait just ahead.

You can see several telling scars on the wildebeest’s body — it may have been able to fend off previous attackers, but this is the day it meets its final fate. As it continues walking, you see the pride of lions well camouflaged in the background.

To be fair, if you hadn’t already spotted them at the start of the video, you may have missed them at first too.

The wildebeest looks dismayed and later, staff at the national park realized she was quite sick and had a debilitating skin disease. In this case, the lions didn’t have to go off and hunt. They were already resting, and their meal came walking right in front of them.

Of course, they weren’t going to pass off the easy kill. As the wildebeest passes, the lions remain still. Then, one of them starts the chase. It’s not much of a chase with such a head start, however. By the time the wildebeest realizes it’s in danger, it’s already too late. She manages several running strides before the single lioness takes her down.

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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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