Cornered by Buffalo: The Lioness’ Fight for Freedom

 

A lion, who was unlucky enough to be chased by buffalo, found himself trapped between two angry herds. In a moment of quick thinking, he decided to climb up a tree in order to defend himself. Was this a wise move or not?

At MalaMala Game Reserve, guests are treated to exceptional game viewing experiences. During their stay, Victoria Craddock and Chad Hobson were fortunate to witness an uncommon sight – a large herd of buffalo – which was a refreshing change from the usual fantastic lion sightings.

“When we got to the site, we spotted some lions in the distance who seemed to have noticed the approaching herd of buffalo. Interestingly, this particular group of lions had already hunted down two sub-adult buffalo in the past two days, so I wasn’t sure if they were planning to hunt again. Moreover, the scorching heat of the day didn’t seem to favor an intense interaction between the two species. Nevertheless, the possibility of witnessing a lion-buffalo interaction was thrilling.”

“The scene was breathtaking as a herd of over 100 buffaloes arrived at the dam, kicking up dust and wallowing in the muddy water under the magnificent lighting. After quenching their thirst, the herd began moving towards the east. Little did we know that the lions had spotted another herd of buffalo heading towards the same dam.”

The lions became agitated and started pursuing the second herd, causing chaos. The second herd fought back and chased the lions into a dry riverbed where the first herd was already present. The first herd also got agitated by the presence of the lions and started chasing them.

The lions found themselves trapped between two angry buffalo herds. One young male lion made the impulsive decision to climb a small russet bushwillow tree, which turned out to be a dangerous move as the buffalo were now even angrier. The tree was not big enough to protect the lion, and he struggled to stay out of reach of the thrashing buffalo horns. The buffalo lingered at the base of the tree for almost an hour, sniffing and thrashing at the lion’s feet.

After a while, the intensity of the sighting subsided. When the persistent buffalo got distracted by the other lions, the young male finally climbed down the tree. He looked relieved to be back with his pride and had a sense of relief on his face.

 

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