Watch an Adult Lion Ambush an Entire Pack of Wild Dog Pups!

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: August 30, 2023
© Mr. Philip Gabrielsen / Creative Commons – License / Original
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Key Points:

  • This article covers an adult lion ambushing a pack of wild dog puppies.
  • Even though the incident in the video may horrify us, it is very typical of what happens to these dogs.
  • Even if the parent of the wild dog puppies would have been there, it’s unlikely the outcome would have been any different.

Cats vs. dogs is an age-old conflict and one immortalized in many stories and cartoons. In nature, however, the outcome can be sudden and brutal and in this video, we see just how savage life on a game reserve can be. This particular video was bravely captured by a 22-year-old visitor. He was on a trip to Sabi Sands, Greater Kruger Park, in South Africa with his family.

They particularly wanted to see a pack of wild dogs and were delighted when they found a group of 16 pups. The encounter started off just the way they had planned as they watched the mother dog return and regurgitate food for her offspring.

This is typical behavior for these animals who use it as an efficient way to carry food back to the den for their young. They will also regurgitate food for other dogs and all adults will regurgitate food for the pups – not just the parents.

African Wild Dogs – Kruger National Park – South Africa (Sabi Sabi Game Reserve)

©Bart Swanson / Creative Commons – License

Life as a pack

Lions can be extremely quiet while hunting.

As pack animals, there are usually other adults around to care for the cubs when the parents are away hunting but this did not happen on this occasion. The pups were playing alone and didn’t seem to have a care in the world. They were blissfully unaware of the tragedy that lay just around the corner.

To the horror of the human on-lookers, a large and aggressive male lion arrives and manages to grasp two of the pups in his mouth. The desperate yelps of the pups can be clearly heard amongst the gasps from the people who witnessed the attack.

He is joined by another two lions and the three pace around their kill and then proceed to squabble over who gets the first go at eating it. Later in the startling footage, we see the initial large lion set off in the direction of the pups but he is unsuccessful in finding any more.

African Wild Dogs

wild dogs
African wild dogs are known to prey on animals that are significantly larger than they are, such as antelope and zebra.


African wild dogs are unique creatures and are very popular with holidaymakers on safari in this incredible country. They are very sociable and live in packs of ten or more. The pack works together to very efficiently hunt impala (medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa) as well as warthogs and even wildebeest calves.

This makes them one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s top predators. The problem is that lions also hunt impalas so the wild dogs are a threat to the lion’s food supply. If given a chance, a lion will therefore kill an African wild dog without hesitation.

Whilst we may be horrified by the scene in this video, it is fairly typical of the fate of these dogs. Females give birth to up to 20 pups at a time and have larger litters than any other type of dog. Few pups are expected to survive to become adults and this sadly is what we witness in this footage.

Even if the parents had been present, it is unlikely that they could have fought off a large and aggressive male lion who is a magnificent apex predator.

Check Out This Gripping Video Below


The Featured Image

African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)
© Mr. Philip Gabrielsen / Creative Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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