Watch This Bold Wildebeest Challenge a Lioness Head-On… And Instantly Regret It

Written by Hannah Crawford
Published: August 31, 2023
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When we as humans are faced with a dangerous experience, our body kicks in with a natural “fight or flight” response. We have the choice to do one or the other. Running from danger is a response that a lot of us choose. Fear kicks in, and we run. The same can be said in the wild animal kingdom. Animals, particularly prey, know that they have a choice to either run or fight for their lives. And while most prey tend to run from danger, now and then, there is an animal who decides to fight for its life.

In this short YouTube clip shown below, we are taken on a safari in Tanzania, in East Africa. The tour has stopped because we see an open plain field of what looks like thousands of wildebeest. As far as the eye can see how many wildebeest there are in this clip.

How Large are Wildebeest Herds?

Part of the Great Migration, a herd of wildebeest line up to cross the Mara river in the Masai Mara national reserve

During the migration, wildebeest will cross great bodies of water.

©Danijel Mihajlovic, CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Wildebeest are very social animals that travel together in large herds. These herds can reach up to 1,000 members. What is even more impressive is that every year, there is what is called the “Great Migration.” And in this great migration, there are over a million wildebeest together. Let’s take a look at what the Asilia African safari site has to say about this migration.  

There are “over 1.2 million wildebeest and 300,000 zebra along with topi and other gazelle move in a constant cycle through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in search of nutritious grass and water.”

As we see this large herd in the background of this video posted below, we see a lone wildebeest that is in the small watering hole. He has most likely been cooling off and grabbing a drink. However, the dangers of stepping aside from the safety and comfort of the herd can prove dangerous. 

And dangerous it was. As we see this wildebeest start to climb out, we see a lioness lying in wait. This lioness was patient and knew there was no need to rush in. Eventually, this wildebeest would have to come out. Once the wildebeest makes eye contact with the lioness, he knows that he has a choice to make. To either fight or flee. So, he boldly rushes right in and fights the lioness head-on. 

While we see this wildebeest is no match for this fight, he gave it his all. They eventually end up in the water and stand at a stalemate. 

Check Out the Incredible Video Below!

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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