A lone lioness tries to bring down a wildebeest by grabbing onto its face. Will she be strong enough to bring it down or will she go hungry?
47-year-old practice manager Lenchen de Beer recorded an incredible display of mother nature in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. He shared his incredibly breathtaking sighting with LatestSightings.com.
“Dark blue skies that promised rain engulfed the arid Kgalagadi desert. My wife and I were returning from our afternoon drive, heading towards the Kij-Kij waterhole, in anticipation of a male lion that had been seen quite often over the past few days.”
“Upon our arrival at the waterhole, the sight of two tawny eagles welcomed us. However, unfortunately for us no male Lion. We then decided to make our way slowly back to Twee Rivieren camp, where we would be spending the night. Jokingly, my husband told me to get ready for the lion.”
Lions in the Kalahari, in particular, are not uncommon, as this harsh desert ecosystem is home to a large population of these felines. However, seeing these majestic beasts in hunting mode is always a rare sight.
“The next minute we stopped, and all of a sudden, I saw the lioness trying to pull a blue wildebeest down. The battle was on. It was a one-on-one battle. A young lioness the mother to three tiny cubs and a fully grown wildebeest!”
Wildebeest are usually easy prey for a pride of lions, but when the hunt becomes one-on-one, the odds are stacked in favor of the wildebeest fighting for its life.
“The wildebeest hit her quite a few times in her tummy as she tried with all her might to pull him down. She would ease up with her claws but not her bite. He’d then swing his head back and forth, trying to get her off his face. In return, she would dig in deeper with her claws and try to bring him down. The lioness was just too fatigued, and to be fair it was a fully grown wildebeest. She didn’t stand a chance”
Lions typically kill their prey by striking vital points in their victim. The spinal area, the airways, or even the legs at times. Being a young female on her own, she attempted to restrict the wildebeest’s airway by suffocating him around the mouth and nose. Genius indeed!
“In the end, the wildebeest broke loose from the clasp of death. One last time she tried to salvage the hunt. She had nothing left in her, and the wildebeest ran off towards Rooiputs. I was rooting for her all the way, as I knew she has the three small cubs and will be on her own for a while before she reunites with her pride. I felt her disappointment at the end. But such is the way of nature.”