If you ever have seen the YouTube video “Battle at Kruger” here are images of a similar scenario at Thanda Private Game Reserve.
The actors in the drama were a herd of Buffalo, a Buffalo calf, a male Lion and an Elephant bull.
CAUTION: PLEASE DO NOT SCROLL DOWN AND READ FURTHER IF YOU ARE DISTURBED BY WILD ANIMAL INTERACTION PICTURES!
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THIS ENCOUNTER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOEe5QeiKuU
It all started with the herd of Buffalo drinking at a waterhole. A young Buffalo calf had an injury above its left front leg which seem to have resulted in an infection. The calf could no longer follow the herd when they were ready to leave the waterhole.
Its cries for help attracted a male Lion who came to investigate. When he attacked the calf the Buffalo herd returned to the waterhole to defend the calf. The lion ran off.
The herd tried to leave again, but the calf – now also injured from the lion attack – could not follow. The Lion moved in again without actually making contact with the calf. This is my first picture as I arrived on the scene at this stage – the Assistant Wildlife Manager – Mariana – was already on the scene.
The herd drove the Lion off again.
And now an bull Elephant arrived at the waterhole to have a drink. He first ignored the calf now lying on the ground. At this stage I had to leave, so the following pictures are thanks to Mariana, who continued operating my camera in my absence (Excellent job – thanks!)
The lion tried to move in again, but the Elephant now drove him off. The Buffalo returned and guarded the calf for a while with the Elephant watching.
Only after all Buffalos and the Elephant had left the scene did the Lion return. He then carried away the carcass into thick bush.
The most amazing thing for me was that the small calf faced the lion and did not try to run away – a true Buffalo!
Below is a picture of the calf with its mother, which I took four days ago. At that stage the wound was visible, but the calf was still fully mobile.
A bit sad, but this is nature at work!