Zebra Goes Out Swinging by Kicking Violently at the Lion Pride Pinning It Down

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Written by Chris Madden

Published: November 30, 2023

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What do lions eat - hunting zebras
© GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com

Hooves Fly Wildly In a Last Ditch Effort From a Doomed Zebra!

In the incredible video at the top of the page, a tragic sight takes place. A zebra is being pinned down by an entire pride of lions. Initially, it looks like the zebra might be dead, but after a few seconds a jolt of movement shows its still fighting! That makes the clip even harder to watch, considering the vice-like grip one lioness has on the zebra’s throat. Yet, the zebra is very much alive, fighting a battle that is long over. While the one lioness pins it down, the rest of the pride is all over the zebra. Cutting into its thick skin with their sharp claws and tearing open its underbelly with their jaws. The lions are merciless, clearly viewing the zebra as nothing more than a meal.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Zebra use their powerful hind legs to kick out with devastating power. This zebra is kicking back viciously to connect with another zebra’s jaw.

©EcoPrint/Shutterstock.com

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The pride consists of full grown lionesses and smaller adolescents, all clambering over the zebra and learning how to take prey apart. One of the grown lionesses is wisely keeping her head raised, watching over the fields. Making sure nothing is going to catch the pride off guard, having many sets of eyes is another advantage of hunting within a pack. But then, out of nowhere, the zebra gets a second wind and begins kicking out violently at the lion pride surrounding. It’s still laying on its side, and the lion clutched to its neck doesn’t budge an inch. However, the ones closest to the flying back hooves have to cede some ground. But when they move away, a ripped open stomach is suddenly visible!

There isn’t much hope for this poor zebra, but its last ditch effort is admirable either way. The lions don’t risk getting injured, but after a little wait they go right back to tearing the zebra open. Even while it keeps kicking out, the lions move back in and start chomping down. Without much hope in sight, one can only assume the zebra’s days are grazing and galloping are over. The one silver lining of the sad scene is that the lion pride will be fed for up to a week from this one zebra.

Advantages to Pack Hunting Are Plentiful, as This Lion Pride Shows!

The lions in the clip at the top of the page perfectly exemplify the advantages of pack hunting. Lions hunt within prides, letting them watch each other’s backs like in the video above. Hunting in numbers also lets lions surround their prey prior to an ambush. Increasing the chances of a successful hunt, cutting off their prey’s escape routes is extremely effective. The strength in numbers also allows lions to take down larger prey. Buffalo, young hippos or giraffes couldn’t be taken down by a lone lion, but the group choreography and combined effort gives them more opportunity. 

Wolf pack

Wolves have a complex social structure

and form extremely close bonds with one another. This evolutionary predisposition to forming bonds is thought to have led to the earliest dogs.

©David Dirga/Shutterstock.com

Similarly, cheetahs, though not as social as lions, can form small groups of 2-4, usually brothers. Already the fastest land mammal alive, pack coordination makes chasing down prey almost too easy. Not only capitalizing on their unmatched speed, numbers also provides a better defense against potential scavengers. Vultures or hyenas seeking to steal their hard-earned catch easily bully a lone cheetah, but not a trio! 

Wolves, another quintessential pack hunter, show off high level teamwork as well. This coordination maximizes their success in their hunts. Relying on distance running, a wolf pack will rotate which individual sprints after a herd. Wolves keep switching up to keep the speed up, they choose a weaker member of the herd to singled out and chase down. Amongst various species of predators, pack hunting consists of different specializations and tactics. What remains true throughout all of them is the fact that pack hunting is a huge advantage!`


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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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