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Wounded Lion Downs a Hunter – Vintage Footage [VIDEO]


A Photographer Catches Man and Beast in a Death Struggle. – LIFE magazine

“Wounded Lion Downs a Hunter.”

That was the headline of the article reporting this story in the August 22, 1955 issue of LIFE magazine.


We were fortunate enough to find the copy of the LIFE magazine picture story that followed on the heels of this newsreel footage from Pathé News (now known as British Pathé). LIFE showed several stills from the newsreel, along with the following text:

Harry Wyman and Vic Olivier stood in the middle of a small clearing in Bechuanaland in southern Africa. Ten yards in front of them a wounded lion waited in the tall grass to charge. Fifteen feet behind the hunters was Photographer C.J. du Preez, armed with a movie camera and set to record the rather common occurence of a lion’s death. 

Suddenly the lion burst out of the grass at 50 miles an hour. Wyman and Olivier fired, hitting the lion in the throat and chest. The beast still came on, bowled Wyman over and sank its fangs in his arm. Within seconds, Olivier shot the lion through its heart. As Wyman came up, his arm almost chewed off, he said, “Du Preez, if you didn’t get this on that camera, I’ll kill you.” Du Preez jiggled and jumped. But in this extraordinary sequence, he got it.

Here is a still image from the LIFE piece not shown in the video:

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Wounded Lion Downs a Hunter – Vintage Footage [VIDEO]