Capturing nature’s raw intensity, a dramatic scene unfolds as lionesses ferociously attack a male lion upon his return to the pride after a prolonged absence

This is the moment a male lion was attacked by the females of his pride after he returned to them following a long period away.

It was captured on camera back in July by Ona Basimane, a guide for Wilderness Safaris Explorations Camp in Gomoti in Botswana.

This is the moment a male lion was attacked by his own pride in Botswana who began biting and scratching him when he appeared again after spending a long time away from them

Ona Basimane, a guide for Wilderness Safaris Explorations Camp in Gomoti, Botswana, said the male had been welcomed by the pride before, but they were in no mood to see him on this occasion

As soon as the females saw his mane appearing through the undergrowth they got up and charged at him, with one lioness tacking him in mid-air as this photograph shows

Eventually the male was thrown to the floor and forced to retreat for fear of being savaged again. Mr Basimane said: ‘The females were definitely happy with the punishment they dished out’

He said: ‘We recently witnessed a rather unusual brawl between members of the resident pride at Gomoti. What started as a tranquil sighting of females and their young turned into a brawl when the dominant male showed up.

‘He had always been welcome but on this occasion, it was clear he was not going to get a hug and a kiss after a long disappearance.

‘As soon as the females caught sight of his mane coming through the brush it was tooth and nail. We watched as the females charged at him and bowled him over with slaps. The roars added to the intensity of the atmosphere.

‘He eventually got up and ran for his life and the females were definitely happy with the punishment they dished out. One of the females even ended up with some lacerations on her ear.

‘It was an incredible experience to witness, especially as it took place very close to our vehicle. Did he have some lipstick on his collar, maybe?’

One of the females suffered cuts to her ear and was seen with blood in her fur after the clash, showing the big cats were not just playing when they locked claws

Lions exist in a strict hierarchical system, with the dominant male at the top and the females under his control. The dominant male has to maintain this position by force – not just from attacks from the outside, but also by his females

It has been known for female lions to turn on and even kill the dominant male in their pride when he gets too old to defend them or maintain order any longer