Often times the war between beasts are heated and intense in the grasslands of Africa. So was the case of an exchange recently photographed between a massive herd of buffalo when they were attacked by a pride of Lions.
The region was thrust into chaos as Photographer Ben Cranke explains that as an oblivious herd of buffalo grazed in the Okavango Swamps of Botswana, southern Africa, they were being stalked by a pride of lionesses.
“I was out on safari early one morning and came across a large buffalo herd grazing in the marshes,” Cranke noted. “Approaching the herd was the resident pride of lions.”
Instinctively, the photographer whipped out his camera and started snapping away. Cranke further shared the events that transpired saying, “The lions began to stalk and the matriarch lioness, about 13 years old, broke free and ran towards a female buffalo and her baby calf who had drifted apart from their herd. The calf was surprisingly quick for its age, but its mother reacted instinctively, putting herself between her calf and the lions.”
This is where things became interesting very quickly reports Cranke. “The calf escaped and ran down the embankment and into the water where another lioness pounced. A bull buffalo waded in to help and charged at the lioness, who let go of the calf,” he continued. “Some of the younger lions formed a line at the water’s edge and approached cautiously. The lions attacked again and the mother charged, putting her head down and barreling into a lioness.”
The photographer claims, “This went on and on, backwards and forwards, with the lions attacking the buffalo relentlessly and the buffalo fiercely protecting their calf.” Cranker further mentioned, “The atmosphere was electrifying, my nerves were shattered after it was all over. While I was trying to capture all the action, I was also silently rooting for the calf.”
“Eventually, it became one charge too many for the lioness and after a particularly brutal assault from the bull, she backed off,” he concluded. “Her pride followed hesitantly and the mother and her calf retreated to the safety of their herd; the calf narrowly escaping to live another day.”
He did however go on to say, “The lions went hungry that morning, but were no doubt back to try their luck again the next day. It was extremely dramatic and emotional to watch, but this is everyday life in the African bush. Lions must eat and herbivores are numerous and on the menu.”
Take a peek below at the remainder of the pictures:
Let us know what you thought of this amazing encounter in a comment below.