Epic Battle: Herd of Buffalo Unites to Rescue Tiny Calf from the Clutches of 5 Hungry Lions in Astonishing Wildlife Drama

Mother throws itself at prowling big cat but it’s bull’s charge comes to baby’s aid

A herd of buffalo launch a battle against a hungry lion

A herd of buffalo launched a bloody battle against a hungry lion attacking their young – and managed to save a tiny calf caught in its jaws.

The calf’s mother threw herself at the prowling lions in a bid to protect her baby, but it was only when the bull buffalo charged that the calf escaped.

Enraged, the predators went in for the kill again – sparking a fierce full-on battle between the two species in the muddy marshes.

Photographer Ben Cranke, who took the shots in the Okavango Swamps of Botswana, South Africa, said the fight was ‘electrifying’.

Mr Cranke, 49, who lives in London, said: “I was out on safari early one morning and came across a large buffalo herd grazing in the marshes.

“Approaching the herd was the resident pride of lions.

“The lions began to stalk and the matriarch lioness, about 13 years old, broke free and ran towards a female buffalo and her baby calf who had drifted apart from their herd.

“The calf was surprisingly quick for its age, but its mother reacted instinctively, putting herself between her calf and the lions.

“The calf escaped and ran down the embankment and into the water where another lioness pounced.

“A bull buffalo waded in to help and charged at the lioness, who let go of the calf.

“Some of the younger lions formed a line at the water’s edge and approached cautiously.

“The lions attacked again and the mother charged, putting her head down and barreling into a lioness.

“This went on and on, backwards and forwards, with the lions attacking the buffalo relentlessly and the buffalo fiercely protecting their calf.

“The atmosphere was electrifying, my nerves were shattered after it was all over.

“While I was trying to capture all the action, I was also silently rooting for the calf.

“Eventually, it became one charge too many for the lioness and after a particularly brutal assault from the bull, she backed off.

“Her pride followed hesitantly and the mother and her calf retreated to the safety of their herd; the calf narrowly escaping to live another day.

“The lions went hungry that morning, but were no doubt back to try their luck again the next day.

“It was extremely dramatic and emotional to watch, but this is everyday life in the African bush.

“Lions must eat and herbivores are numerous and on the menu.”

Sia

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