Lioness Hunts Giraffe Calf
By Rebecca Drew
INCREDIBLE action shots have revealed the desperate two-hour struggle of a giraffe calf as it tried to escape a group of hungry young lionesses learning how to hunt.
The spectacular series of pictures show the moment the lions clocked eyes on their next meal as the baby strolled through the South African wilderness with its mother before making a last bid attempt for freedom as a 286-pound lion closed in.
The images capture the giraffe as it runs behind its mum, resorting to its natural self-defence instinct to kick the predator in the face. Other pictures show a lion grabbing hold of its neck before dragging the defenceless baby to the ground and tucking into the body after the action.
The stunning pictures were taken by special project co-ordinator, Karl-Heinz Fechter (43) from Pretoria, South Africa at the Balule Game Reserve near Hoedspruit, also in South Africa. To take the amazing photographs, Karl-Heinz used a Canon 650D camera.
“This was an amazing siting, even though we did experience the brutality of nature. It was clear from the first moment, as we stumbled across this event that the young one would not survive,” said Karl-Heinz.
“This pack of lions had killed and devoured a buffalo the previous day and were not in immediate need for food. Yet the group decided to go for the young giraffe anyway.
“The mother of the young giraffe valiantly tried to protect the young one. The lions certainly had a healthy respect for the kicking ability of the giraffe and every time she turned around the lions scattered.
“She tried to show the calf by example how to get away, unfortunately the calf’s speed was no match for the lions.
“It was amazing to see how this young giraffe picked up on her mother actions and started to kick with its front legs to chase the lions away.”
Karl-Heinz said that he was surprised that the young lions didn’t appear to instinctively know how to kill the giraffe and needed some help from their elders.
“One would have thought that lions instinctively know how to hunt and kill but even the king of nature still has to learn how to become an effective hunter,” he added.
“Countless times the young lions chased after the calf, tackling it to the ground without executing the lethal blow.
“It was only after the older lions decided that it was time to finish this that they got involved to demonstrate how it should be done and the calf was finally killed.
“There were a few times when we thought that this must surely be it but the calf got up again to our disbelief.
“I love the dynamic nature of wildlife photography and never knowing one hundred percent what animal you will see and what the situation will be like.”
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