Overnight Battle Ends In Catastrophe When Two Lions Take On Giraffe

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June 11, 2014 9:12am PST

Showing just how brutal it can be living as an animal in the African safari, a photographer was able to capture quite the exchange in a series of photographs. After tiring a giraffe all night long, two lions were able to finally bring down the beast and have a hearty feast.

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It all started during the night where photographer Morkel Erasmus, 31, spotted the exchange and explains that the lions had run the giraffe all night long in effort to tire it. As Morkel puts it, “The lions had made turns in running the giraffe down all night long, and he had survived this far but this was the last stand, his Gettysburg.”

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After the tired giraffe noticed his efforts to evade the two predators were worthless, he finally stopped and faced his aggressors. Morkel further described the encounter saying, “Nevertheless, tired and old as he was, he wasn’t going to merely lay down and let his assailants overcome him.”

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(See also: Buffalo And Lion Square Off In Grueling 6-Hour Battle)

“Giraffes have immense hooves and muscular, long, powerful legs with which to fling those hooves at would-be assailants with enough force to deal out a lethal blow. This old guy was unfortunately just too tired to kick with this kind of ferocity, he did lash out a few kicks and swing around to meet his attackers a few times, but his kicks showed his fatigue.”

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But alas, Morkel shared that, “one of the young male lions found a grab hold onto the buttocks of the giraffe, on his blind side. With his right leg bogged down, the giraffe could only do so much, his spirit was brave, but his body was weak, the inevitable happened and a second leg was grabbed.”

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Sadly for the giraffe, Morkel relayed, “Given the level of fatigue the old giraffe had displayed, I wasn’t surprised that he could not shake the lion from his leg but he tried valiantly to keep the second attacker at bay. And then, a mere 30 seconds after the first lion got a proper grip, he tumbled to the ground, a fallen giant, a defeated warrior, a vanquished fortress.”

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(See also: Herd Of Buffalo And Pride Of Lions Go Head-To-Head In Safari Battle)

Going a bit deeper into the emotional aspect of the experience the photographer concluded, “It’s a strange duality of the life of a wildlife photographer, finding joy and adrenaline at the chance of photographing these things, but also finding sadness and empathy with the victim.”

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Unfortunately this is all part of nature, and despite many feeling sympathetic for the gentle giant, it’s all part of the circle of life – after all, we would cringe no less watching a lion die of starvation, right? Let us know what you thought of this natural encounter in the comments below.

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