An Epic Battle
I wanted to share a sighting with all of you from last year October when I was hosting a safari in the Masai Mara. While out on drive, we came across a lone lioness. We knew that she had cubs in the area and seeing as it was heating up, our thoughts were one of two things would happen, either she would find some shade and rest, or she could lead us back to where she was keeping her cubs.
Well, our thoughts were wrong as she did neither. Within a few minutes of us being with her, she got up and started moving. There was a large herd of wildebeest and zebra not to far off and she was headed straight in that direction. Knowing that she could potentially hunt, we gave her some space and followed her from a distance. It didn’t take long before she locked on to her target, a lone zebra, far away from the rest of the herd. With a closer look, the zebra had a very badly injured back leg, the perfect target for a lone lioness. Although the zebra was injured, it is still a very formidable opponent against a single lioness.
The zebra, for the majority of the time, was head down and grazing, allowing the lioness the chance to stalk. The lioness got to roughly 20 meters before it launched its attack!
Now, although the outcome of this particular sighting was the demise of the zebra, it really could have gone either way! As you can see in the picture above, the lioness narrowly escaped the powerful kick of the zebra. If the zebra had connect with the lionesses head, this would spell all sorts of trouble. The lioness has cubs to feed and raise, she still needs to feed herself and by taking a blow to the head could have seriously injured her if not killed her. It really is survival of the fittest out in the wild and goes to show that these animals live in a game of inches!
In the picture above, the lioness managed to take down the zebra, but was unable to go for the next to suffocate the zebra, each time she tried the zebra would bite her! The zebra made many efforts to try regain its footing but was unable to do so and after about 30 minutes, succumbed to its injuries.
Like I said never easy to witness, but this is nature. We watched the sighting unfold over the following days, as the rest of the pride, the two pride males and the females cubs joined up and all managed to have a decent feed.
Until next time,