In the wilds of Africa, when we think of lions hunting herbivores, we imagine a pretty one sided fight. Lions have claws and teeth to rend and tear — what do buffaloes have?
Turns out those distinctively curved horns on their head are more effective at chasing away predators than we had believed.
During a midday safari at the Kruger National Park, a tourist and his teen-aged son were told that the two lions crouching on the pathway some distance away were actually stalking their prey.
At their request, the guide stopped the car and from the safety of their vehicle they waited as the scene unfolded before them.
After almost an hour of quietly watching the lions inch slowly closer to the grazing herd of buffaloes, the tourists were startled when the giant cats suddenly launched into attack.
Together, they targeted one buffalo while the rest of the herd scattered in fear.
As the lions brought their prey down, digging their claws into its hide and refusing to let go, the kill seemed inevitable.
Then, one lion got up and left for a moment.
We’re not sure what drew it away, but that seemed to give one of the other buffaloes the opening it needed to try and rescue its mate.
The remaining lion had just settled down to tear into the hide of its defeated prey when the second buffalo rushed in and flipped it half a dozen feet into the air!
That’s no exaggeration! The buffalo dug under the lion and tossed him straight up like the enormous cat weighed nothing.
The heroic animal then did it again, and this time, the lion had the good sense to escape while its insides were still intact!
As the stunned tourists watched, even the downed buffalo staggered up after a while and walked away with its herd. There were no lasting injuries that they could see.
Now, the two lions had most definitely been adolescents, still not used to bringing down bigger prey. But together they probably could have defeated any rescue attempts.
Left alone, the lion couldn’t take on the enraged buffalo and it was wise of the animal to retreat.
But it’s incredibly fascinating to see such an obvious calculation of risk versus reward by herd animals when contemplating a face off with an apex predator.
That buffalo was definitely brave, but we love that he was smart as well.
Source: ©Facebook Video Screenshot | Barcroft