Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pride of Lions has a Bad Day

Here is one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen. It's eight minutes long but it's well worth watching the whole thing. There are several different events that take place throughout the video that will astound you. Any one of those events would make a stunning video clip by itself. A pride of lions, a herd of cape buffalo, and two big crocodiles get into a rumble, and you'll see who's boss. The lions are young and foolish, and have not yet learned to respect the cape buffalo. But they learn.

I learned 30 years ago from a very good friend who was a lifelong African big game hunter that the lion has the reputation but the real king of the hill in Africa is not the lion, it is the cape buffalo. My friend spent several months every year in Africa, for 40 years, hunting. He taught me that lions have the reputation of being a predator with no natural enemies--top of the food chain. Not true, he told me that while they are at the top of the food chain they definitely have a natural enemy. He said that herds of cape buffalo will hunt lions--not to eat them but simply to kill them and rid themselves of a pest. According to him, cape buffalo will raid dens of lions in an organized fashion and kill every one they can get. Groups of buffalo will locate and set up ambushes on each of the escape routes from the den, and then another group will attack the den in a frontal assault. The lions scatter only to run straight into buffalo that are waiting for them. The attack group then goes in and kills all the cubs. So the cape buffalo know all about lions. In this video you will see behaviors that I'm sure you've never seen before. Just one cape buffalo is a very dangerous animal, but as you will see they can also act in concert. Talk about scary.

It's easy to lose your sense of scale in this video. Remember that cape buffalo are enormous creatures, weighing over a ton, and the lions are 400 pounds or more. One of the lions discovers just how strong a cape buffalo is, the hard way. Ouch!

Prepare to be amazed again and again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

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