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- Lions prey on a variety of species but their success rates are usually higher when they hunt as a group.
- Males tend to hunt alone and use an ambush method.
- Buffalo have strong horns and a powerful kick that can cause real damage to a lion.
Part of being an accomplished hunter is knowing when to give up! That is what you see when this male lion comes across a group of buffalo at a dam. He is initially interested but soon realizes that this is more than he can cope with and backs off.
Lion vs Buffalo at the Dam
The footage was captured at the Shimangwaneni dam in Mpumalanga, South Africa. We see a lone male lion watching a buffalo herd that has come to drink at the water’s edge. As the buffalo dip their heads towards the water, the lion lies still, well-camouflaged against the yellow dirt.
Suddenly, he makes a dash toward them but it is half-hearted and he merely breaks into a trot. It is enough to spook the buffalo who initially run away but a few of them soon stand their ground. They bellow a few times and then start to charge at the lion!
With the tables turned, the prey is now chasing off the predator proving that there is safety in numbers. At one point, it looks as if the lion is going to become stranded on a sandbank jutting out into the river but he manages to make a run for it. Several of the buffalo run after him to see him off! Then, they return to the water to drink. Meanwhile, the lion is reunited with his partner on the opposite side.
Lions Hunting and Prey
We hear a lot about how female lions hunt as a pride. This allows them to take on prey that an individual lion would not manage. However, we now know that male lions also hunt. Males tend to hunt alone and use an ambush method.
Lions prey on a variety of species but their success rates are usually higher when they hunt as a group. Their diet is made up of just about anything that they can catch and that includes warthogs, gazelles, and zebras. Lions do successfully hunt buffalo but it entails a lot of risks so they need to weigh that up. You have to remember that there is a lot of buffalo and only one lion! Also, buffalo have strong horns and a powerful kick that can cause real damage to a lion.
Lions can go for several days without eating but can consume up to 70 pounds in one go. Perhaps, this lion decided the risks were not simply not worth it.
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