By Tom Dare
A WATER buffalo’s desperate attempt to fight off a pride of ravenous lions by driving them into a watering hole has been captured in a series of action-packed images and video.
Shot in the Sabi Sand in South Africa, the series of photos shows the lionesses attacking the young buffalo, forcing it to retreat into the safety of nearby water.
Unfortunately, the buffalo didn’t manage to escape as the felines waited patiently around the water’s edge ready to pounce, bringing the buffalo to the ground for the final time.
Photographer Peter Fridle (59) captured the incredible pictures while out on safari, and was surprised by the circumstances of the kill.
“We arrived at the waterhole early in the morning, and a tribe of five lions was sleeping close to the water,” he said.
“From another direction, two buffalos tried to get to the water, and the lions hunted one of them. The buffalo was smart but too weak. To get the lions off, he moved to the nearby water, knowing lions hate it. You don’t see that very often.
“But unfortunately, the buffalo had to leave the water eventually because he was too exhausted.
“In a final attack, the lions overthrew the buffalo and kept him to the ground. One of the lions did bite him into the throat and suffocated the buffalo.
“The whole thing lasted for about thirty-minutes, and it took about fifteen-minutes to kill the buffalo.”
Lion populations have plummeted in the past century, dropping from an all-time high of nearly a million cats down to today’s estimated figures of just 20,000.
Peter considers himself very fortunate to have been able to capture an increasingly rare phenomenon.
“We were very lucky to get these pictures,” he said.
“What I love about this kind of thing is that it’s pure wildlife, wild and deadly. It’s definitely gruesome, but also thrilling.”