Raging Bull Charges Into Lion Pride

The hot and tired twelve member lion pride is curled up under a shade tree at a waterhole in Masai Mara National Reserve. It is

alt="Cape buffalo charging a lion family at Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Africa."
Cape buffalo charges into a lion pride, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Africa

noontime, and night hunting lions are taking their midday nap. The wary matriarch of the pride is not napping. She is alert and staring at a large Cape Buffalo bull who is glaring at her. He’s fed up with the dangerous predators, and wants them out of his territory. At about seventy five yards he is tossing his head from side to side in distain. Then he charges. Lions spring to their feet. Cubs, juveniles and sisters all sprint in one direction, but the experienced matriarch runs in the other direction leading the bull away from her pride. The bull chases her, but he will not catch the speedy lioness. She runs right by our Land Cruiser seemingly knowing the buffalo won’t come near us, and he doesn’t.

This life and death competition between lions and African buffaloes has been going on for thousands of years. The lions prey on young and injured buffaloes, and sometimes even bring down a large adult using a team strategy.

alt="Cape buffalo being stalked by lions at Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Africa."
Cape buffalo sparring with lions, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Africa.

Today the buffalo bull knows the lions are resting, not hunting, and the bull is charging, not giving the lions a chance to get to his rear, and they have no desire for fighting. The noontime sun is hot, and they are tired. An hour earlier the lions were harassing the buffaloes. They had been singling out a buffalo, circling in front of it to occupy its attention, while another tried to attack from the rear, but each time at the last second the buffalo would spin around and front the attacker causing it to veer away. 

Now at noontime when the lions are hot and tired the buffalo wants his revenge. He charges right into the middle of the pride sending a message that we don’t like you. You’re not wanted here, and you’re not getting any rest while I’m around. Predator and prey striving for survival on the African savanna. 

©Terry Chick 1/3/2020