THE HUNTER became the hunted as a buffalo viciously killed a lioness in a fight to the death, according to The Sun. A shocking brawl took a dramatic turn as a brave buffalo rescued a cow from its herd under attack from two lionesses — and it has all been caught on camera.
After stalking a buffalo calf, the beast’s distressed mother charged at two hungry lionesses in an attempt to save her little one, but became outnumbered in the fight in Okavango Delta, Botswana. But all was not lost, as one of the herd’s brave buffalo proved its loyalty by going head to head with the big cats, using all its strength to rid the heard of the unwanted intruders.
Describing the event, photographer Wim van den Heever, 43, told how he had watched the lions attempt to take down the cow a number of times before she was finally “saved” by a bull from the herd. The protective buffalo stepped in and successfully scared the lions away, very nearly mauling the severely injured lioness to death, and saving the mother buffalo’s life in the process.
Mr van den Heever’s mesmerising pictures capture the fear in the lionesses’ eyes as she attempts to escape the brave buffalo’s horns. According to Mr van den Heever, the lioness managed to drag herself out of the mud two days later, though unfortunately died in the process.
He said: “The bull came and chased the female lions off the mother buffalo, trying to injure them. “Luckily they escaped, but while he chases them he sees the injured female lion and really finishes her off, by mauling her and pushing her into the mud. I’ve never witnessed anything like this.”
A similar attack took place earlier this month, in which a pride of ravenous lions got more than they bargained for yet again as a raging buffalo impaled a helpless lion in a bid to rescue its injured friend. As one of the lions ran at the buffalo in a brazen attempt to bring it to the ground, the buffalo fought back in the most vicious of ways.
Photographer at the scene, Mariangela Matarazzo, said: “When we arrived there were 12 young lions of the same pride that had knocked down a bull and were trying to kill it. “Just next to them were a dozen other buffalos observing. Suddenly one of them decided to rescue his injured friend that was lying in the middle of the lions.
The buffalo came rushing towards the lions and one of the males tried to tackle the buff. “That was when it got hooked on the horn and was swung by the buffalo several times until he was tossed away and landed terribly on the floor. “When we thought it was all over two huge male adult lions arrived with two females from another pride roaring a lot. “All the young ones fled and the injured buffalo stood up trying to escape but he was hurt really bad and very tired.
“One of the lions stood in front of it while the other one walked around the buffalo and jumped on top of it and knocked him down again. “The two males took care of the rest and made a quick kill.”