Watch This Resilient Buffalo Singlehandedly Fight Off 12 Hungry Lions

African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) being caught by Lions (Panthera leo).
© iStock.com/jez_bennett

Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 20, 2023

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The fortunes of this beleaguered buffalo improve hugely as this story unfolds! This fascinating footage was captured at Masai Mara which is a large national game reserve in Narok in Kenya, Africa.  As the video below shows, you should never give up hope! Help could be just around the corner.

Witness the Amazing Rescue in the Video Below!

A Pride Of Lions Target A Buffalo

A pride of lions has surrounded this buffalo. Now, all they have to do is kill it but that is not proving to be easy. They try to leap on its back and bite at its feet and flanks but the buffalo holds firm. It is clearly distressed and very outnumbered, so it is only a matter of time before it succumbs. Unless…

It gives out some loud bellows which are meant to alert its herd. Like lions, buffalo are also social animals and live in herds of anywhere between 350 and several thousand. Suddenly, the lions spot something and start moving away from the buffalo – allowing it to trot out of shot. When the camera sweeps around, we see a herd of hundreds of buffalo. Now, it is the lions that are outnumbered and they know when they are beaten.

pride of lions

Buffalo can smell lions coming even if they can’t see them

©iStock.com/Tommy_McNeeley

How Buffalo Defend Themselves Against Lions

Buffalo are a prime target for lions but they have a number of highly effective defense strategies. They have a superb sense of smell and can tell when a lion is approaching even if they cannot see it. Sticking together as a herd is their best tactic and they travel with the younger, smaller, and weaker individuals in the middle and the most powerful males on the outside. If a lone buffalo can hang on for long enough, the herd is very likely to come back to find it.

When a buffalo is surrounded by lions, it will charge. They do not just stand there and allow themselves to be killed. Don’t forget that buffalo can be up to six feet tall and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. They also have sharp hooves and horns that can cause a lot of damage to a lion’s flesh. This is why you mainly see lions attacking a buffalo from behind – they know that the sharp horns are at the front!


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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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