Watch Two Gigantic Rhinos Sneak Up and Startle Sleeping Lions

Written by Katie Melynn
Published: October 21, 2022
© Millie Bond - Copyright A-Z Animals
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Lions may be the kings of the jungle, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t get startled. In this video, two rhinos sneak up on pair of snoozing lions.

Sneaking up may not be the best description, however, given the size of this massive rhino. It’s hard to imagine them moving anywhere quietly. Rhinos can get up to 1.5 tons with the largest species, the white rhino, weighing in at almost 8,000 pounds as a fully grown adult. That is one massive animal!

They also have fierce horns that can get over four feet long. The rhino in this video is a fully grown adult with a large horn. The adult is accompanied by a juvenile rhinoceros who has a smaller horn. The smaller animal lingers back, clearly following the lead of the mature rhinoceros.

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Aren’t Lions Predators?

Male Lion, Kalahari, South Africa
Lions are the apex predator of the African savanna.


Lions are also fierce predators in their environment. But just like a house cat, they also enjoy a nice snooze in the sun. This pair of lions are male and female. The male lion has his back to the approaching rhinoceros. His tail twitches a bit as he sleeps. It is such a peaceful scene that you almost forget that lions are apex predators.

The male picks his head up as the rhinos get closer. Lions have excellent senses of smell and hearing. Something as large as an adult rhino would not escape notice for very long. But because he has his back to the rhinos, the lion doesn’t immediately recognize that there is another dangerous animal nearby.

He puts his head back down, as if he is saying “No, just five more minutes!”

A Rhino Alarm Clock

white rhino
A close-up of a white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) at Colchester Zoo, UK.

©Millie Bond – Copyright A-Z Animals

The rhinos don’t stop their walk, however. The pair get closer and closer to the lions. Eventually, they are just a few feet away. The lion looks over his shoulder and gets a big surprise: a rhinoceros’s giant horn coming right for him!

The lion scrambles up to standing. The female lion does the same, following the cues of her partner. When she opened her eyes, she had a great view of the rhinoceros coming toward them. She jumps off into the tall brush. The male lion follows close behind.

How do the rhinos react? At first they seem a bit startled by the lions’ sudden movement. Even though it was hard to miss the two sleeping lions, seeing them suddenly jump up would have still put the rhinoceros’s guard up.

Both kings of the jungle, lion and rhinoceros, live to tell the tale. The rhinos continued on their walk while the lions ran to find another place to relax.

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white rhino
A White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum) at Colchester Zoo, UK.
© Millie Bond - Copyright A-Z Animals

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie is a Teaching Artist with The APEX Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and was awarded an Author Fellowship to Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She also enjoys spending time with her three kids and cat.

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