This Lion had the worst day ever!
“Incredible footage,” says Marc Lindsay Rae, head of the specialist safari division at Africa Direct, “The raw power of these male lions, and the sound that they make just resonates through your body.” Filmed by Mike at Mala Mala in the Great Kruger National Park, it appears three males from one coalition are attacking a single unrelated male lion.
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Probably a nomadic male, living in the “Wrong” male’s territory! Marc explains, “At approximately 2 years of age, males get chased out of the pride that they have grown up in, and in many instances by their own fathers. This is because the young males are reaching sexual maturity, and will want to start mating with their mother, sisters, or even aunts. Therefore, young males are chased off to go find their own females in a different area.” This ensures genetic diversity! At this stage young male lions become nomadic. “And eventually when they think they are big and strong enough, they will challenge other males for their territory and pride females”, says Marc.
If one looks close enough, you can identify that the lone male’s mane size and colour is different from the others. Marc puts this footage down to a territorial fight! The male is a potential threat to the other 3’s land and prides. Marc says, “This type of fighting is typical especially in a place like the Kruger National Park where there is a high concentration of male lions competing for territory and females.” However it is not very common for one to see it happening in broad daylight.
While watching the footage Marc was at first amazed to see it was a lion making that low bellow. Initially he thought the noise was of a buffalo being killed (with that distinct bellow they make). Marc says, “Personally I think that bellow got the attention of the buffalo, as if it was another buffalo getting attacked and they came to “help”. That “helping” type of behaviour is fairly common when buffalo get caught by lions because buffalos form the main source of food for lions in Kruger.” Only on closer inspection did they realise it wasn’t another buffalo!
Instinctively the buffaloes then tried to neutralise a now potential threat! In this case, the injured male. Marc concludes ‘In his condition, he was not a threat therefore the buffalo moved off because there is no point in hanging around with 3 other males in the area. The risk far outweighs the reward of getting back a “supposed buffalo calf”, which it actually wasn’t.”
Unfortunately the fate of the injured lion was not good. The lone lion died about a week later at a placed called “Buffalo Pan”! He may have succumbed to his injuries, or perhaps the other males returned.