You thought lions were Africa’s most dangerous animal? Hah! These lions actually had to hide behind a safari’s Land Rover to escape certain death!
They weigh 1,500 lbs., stand five feet high at the shoulder and have huge, heavy – and sharp – horns stretching five feet across. This is the Cape Buffalo and it is responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other animal. More than crocs. More than rhinos. More than lions.
They are extremely challenging to hunt because if you shoot one – and only wound it – it will cleverly circle around and attack you from the rear. And when you mess with one of its young, you’re as good as done.
This is what three teenage male lions discovered when they attempted to take a Cape Buffalo calf. The herd, measuring 300 strong, got wind of this (literally) and came to the calf’s aid.
What happened next, according to Kent Lawson, “was a jaw dropping experience.”
Kent, a New York software engineer, and his wife Carol Tambor, were on safari in a Land Rover (of course) when they found themselves in the middle of this epic battle. So much in the middle, in fact, that the lions actually used the Land Rover to hide behind when the Cape Buffalo charged them. The couple witnessed the calf changing hands between the herd and the lions 11 times in 35 minutes, until eventually the herd realized the calf had been killed in all of the excitement and gave up their fight.
You wonder if it hadn’t been for the Land Rover if the lions would have survived. I’m guessing not.
Kent said: "We felt that this whole thing was going on right on top of us, the lions would hide at the back of the Land Rover when they were charged, it was kind of amazing. It really was a sense of awe. I have been to Africa before but this was the first time I have seen anything like this.
"Our guide said these were the big enforcers of the herd and if they had been there at the start the calf could have been saved. They were frightfully large, the size of their horns is just absolutely massive, and both the lions as well as the buffalo would run right up to the Land Rover.”
This is why people go on safari in Land Rovers. Finding yourself in the middle of a lion-cape buffalo fight is not a place you would want to be in anything less.
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