A picture from my archives: What an exciting sighting when a Black Rhino met a Lioness.
Rhinos do not like Lions. Lions are wary of Rhinos. So usually they stay away from one another but sometimes the Lions’ hunting instinct gets the better of them and they try to edge close to the Rhinos, or the two species just meet by accident. As soon as the Rhinos realize the proximity of cats they get very upset and start chasing their foe. That is usually the end of the encounter because at this stage the Lions move away. Due to the bad eyesight of all adult Rhinos the Lions sometimes get quite close.
In this particular case the Black Rhino bull appeared over the dam wall when it almost bumped into the Lioness. The large herbivore immediately went for the cat which made a hurried retreat.
The reason why Lions are interested in Rhinos is because on occasion they get to kill a young Rhino calf. And therefore Rhinos instinctively dislikes all cats and want to get rid of them!
Who inflicted all these scars on the face of this male Lion? Most likely his brother. The two males form what is called a coalition. Which means they control their territory together, hunt together, sleep next to one another and very seldom separate.
But they also fight with one another as soon as a Lioness in estrous enters the scene. The stronger and more dominant one gets to mate with the lady. The submissive one has to keep his distance if he does not want a beating. This one obviously got in a bit of a fight a few times 😊
I had an excellent evening drive. First I spent an hour in between a breeding herd of Elephants feeding all around me and then I experienced some Lion tension between two brothers. One of them was attending to a female in estrous while keeping her away from his submissive rival. A lot of growling and paw-fighting. A not so quiet Sunday 😊!