Lions are recognized as "kings of the jungle," but even the most powerful kings need help from their subjects. Just because these mighty creatures rule the animal kingdom doesn't mean they're completely unstoppable. Even a lion's prey such as the Cape Buffalo can be strong enough to defend itself and occasionally defeat its predator. One on one, a Cape Buffalo will actually beat a lion almost every single time because of its mighty size and strength. But not every Cape Buffalo in a full herd is safe from an attack by an entire pride of lions, which David Pinkernell discovered while visiting Chitake Springs in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park.
62-year-old Pinkernell was enjoying his retirement on a safari with his wife and friends when he captured this adrenaline-pumping, once-in-a-lifetime moment. He detailed the exclusive experience to Latest Sightings and explained how he had the perfect spot to witness the rare sighting because no one else was around. "Our amazing guide, Nick Murry, owner of Bushlife Safaris, put us in the perfect position to see a pride of 30 lions attack 300 very thirsty Cape Buffalo charging down to drink from the only water source available for many miles," he said. "We were standing on the edge of a cliff with no other people around, with no idea that we were going to see something extremely rare!"
Pinkernell and his group watched as the herd stormed the waterhole, frantically looking to satiate their thirst at the only water source for many miles. The pride of lions started to attack the herd, and the adult buffaloes attempted to save their calves in what Pinkernell described as "a dramatic back and forth battle." The adult buffaloes managed to save two calves, but two male lions left their first kills to chase them as the herd ran up the hillside. The lions eventually caught the two calves, while the rest of the herd got away.
Cape Buffaloes and lions are natural, ancestral enemies. A single Cape Buffalo can feed an entire pride of lions, which is why the species is a commonly sought-after prey. Lions might be one of the largest, most deadly predators on the African continent, but Cape Buffaloes are bigger and can outrun a lion over a long distance if they have a good head start. Cape Buffaloes are also difficult to prey on because their thick ribs serve as an armor that protects their most important organs. So you can see why the kings of the jungle bring out their armies to help them hunt.
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