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Cape Buffalo Gores Lion in Epic Life-or-Death Struggle

cape buffalo

A young lion survives, but not without some scars from Africa’s deadliest non-predatory animal.

The Cape buffalo, also known as the Black Death, is known for being one of Africa’s toughest and most dangerous animals. A new sequence of photos shot in the Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa shows just how dangerous these animals are, even when facing overwhelming odds from Africa’s greatest predator, the lion.

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The Daily Mail reports these five lions attempted to take down a buffalo that somehow managed to fight for its life for 90 minutes before the lions finally subdued it. And at least one lion didn’t walk away unscathed. A few of the photos show one of the buffalo’s deadly horns gored into the lion’s chest.

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The photos of the life-and-death struggle were shot by ranger Roan Ravenhill. “By a long way, it was the longest battle we have ever seen between lions and a buffalo,” Ravenhill told the Daily Mail. “It was hard to watch, but that’s the reality of nature.”

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Perhaps the most amazing part about the lion the buffalo managed to gore, is the fact it didn’t dissuade the lion’s attack.

“Suddenly we could see that a young male had managed to get hooked by the buffalo’s horn underneath his left front leg,” Ravenhill said. “He ended up stuck there for a good 20 minutes.”

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Even more impressive than the lion’s determination is the fact that Ravenhill said it survived the encounter, albeit, with a pronounced limp for a few days.

The photos are a brutal testament to the cruelty of nature and the toughness of both of the lions and the buffalo. While the buffalo did lose the battle, I doubt there are many animals that could take an hour-and-a-half mauling from five lions like that!

Images via The Daily Mail

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Cape Buffalo Gores Lion in Epic Life-or-Death Struggle