Watch a Rhino Send Lions Scrambling in a Dramatic Confrontation

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 22, 2023
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Lions are Lords of the jungle, kings of their domains, and apex predators, fearing nothing until…they meet a rhino! In this intriguing footage, you get to see what happens when one of the most powerful felines in the world comes face to face with one of the most unique and powerful animals on earth.

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Rhino chases after lions to defend her territory

Rhinos and Lions in Africa

Western Black Rhinoceros

Black rhinos are the seventh largest mammal and are capable of weighing over 6,000 lbs


This footage was filmed at the Kruger National Park in Africa and features two lion brothers. At the start of the film, we see one of the lions trotting across the grassland pursued by a rhino. Sometimes the lion turns and they stare at each other. And at one point a hyena turns up to observe what is going on.

The lion brothers try to play it super cool by crouching down just in front of the rhino pretending that they are not bothered. That all changes as the rhino charges at them and they are forced to scramble to their feet. The lions change position several times but the rhino pursues them. When one of the lions starts dragging a carcass, the rhino pushes them away from it using her huge horn and domineering presence.

Most of the time, the rhino just walks towards the lions but sometimes they break into a run. It must be intimidating to see a grown rhino bearing down on you. It is not possible to see exactly what the carcass is but we suspect that it is a baby rhino. In the video notes there is a link to a longer video where a mother rhino is defending a baby rhino from some lions. One of the lions in this footage is clearly injured and perhaps that was caused by the confrontation.

Lions Hunting on the Grassland

Two lions on grassland

Lions hunt alone, in pairs, or as a pride

©Wirestock Creators/

Lions are apex predators and excellent hunters. They catch a variety of animals on the open grasslands of Africa including buffalo, wildebeests, gazelle, zebra, and antelope. A lone lion would not take on an adult rhino and would think twice before attempting to catch a baby. A pride may attempt to hunt a rhino. However, this baby may have been young, weak, or sick and that would have made them an easier target. It is heartbreaking to think that the Mom rhino is still defending her baby even though it is clearly no longer alive.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pornchanok Anukoolprasert/

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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