Friday, February 24

Surprise attack! (Part 2)

For Part 1 of the "Surprise Attack" click here

Who could have anticipated that those seemingly docile buffalo, having walked cautiously past the lion only 10 minutes before, would suddenly decide to charge back down the valley and chase the pride off their kill?

It all happened so quickly that one needed a video camera to really capture the action.

After initially taking shelter behind a large termite mound the lionesses then decided to cross the road behind us to put some more distance between them and the buffalo.

Here, they hunkered down in the grass and peered through the bushes, across to their lost meal and it's new guardians.

As I mentioned in my last posting, it was a very very hot afternoon, and all the cats were panting heavily after the unexpected exercise.

After a few minutes of no further action from the buffalo, the lionesses started crossing back over the road.

The cubs, obviously still hungry, were not going to be left behind!

During the previous lull I had driven up the road and U-turned to be in a better position for  photographing the next lot of action. I was rewarded with the following views of the mothers and their cubs (albeit through my rather dusty windscreen....)

But, those buffalo were not going to let these enemies of theirs back to their meal quite so easily.....
As soon as they sensed the lion they charged again, though never going as far as crossing the road.

While I watched over the next five minutes there were two more approaches and two more chases. 
The lion were definitely not winning this one!

Eventually the lionesses settled into the taller grass behind the termite mound, and some of the cubs came out onto the road to wait for the outcome.

And here's where I should say - "wait for Part 3" !

But I can't, because I don't know what Part 3 is either.

Much to my frustration, sunset was only a few minutes off, camp was 10 kilometers away, and I had to get going, or face a heavy fine for being in after "gates close".

So that's where I'm going to leave the story.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Coral .. wonderful pictures though - fabulous shots .. hadn't realised the cubs are spotted though ..

I wonder what did happen - buffalo are grazers aren't they?

Cheers Hilary

Coral Wild said...

Hi Hilary, the most likely outcome was that the buffalo moved off somewhere safer (from attack by lions!) before it got too dark. Then the lionesses and cubs could have returned to finish their feast during the night.
One hopes that that was the outcome anyway!

Joyful said...

Aw, too bad you were so close to sunset. The photos are absolutely fantastic. You are so lucky to have spotted this kind of action and so many lions and cubs.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Joyful - very lucky indeed. The best view I have had of cubs in the wild..

Lonicera said...

Wonderful how pictures can tell a story - I love these. I'm particularly struck by the trusting way the cubs just sat down on the road with, presumably, you there in a vehicle looking at them! Nothing like that gorgeous evening light...

Coral Wild said...

Hi Caroline, yes it does seem a bit wierd that the lion cubs were more afraid of the buffalo than the cars. Kruger has been a National Park with public access for almost a 100 years now so the animals have become habituated to the cars..... (NOT to humans on foot though...) Sue

Les Eames said...

Gorgeous photos Sue. Perhaps in the bush there should always be a choice of endings to the story .... Les

Coral Wild said...

Thank you Les - for both visiting and commenting.
I certainly agree with you on the endings, and in the bush, anything could have happened!

Werner & Elisabeth said...

Great pictures complemented with wonderful words which almost gives us the feeling of living the experience with you. Would love to be back with you, Sue, one day for another excitement!
Take care and best season's greetings to you and all your friends in the bush.
Werner & Elisabeth, Switzerland

Coral Wild said...

Thank you Werner, Elisabeth.
I would love to have you on safari again:)
Keep in touch.