By Alexander Greensmith
HEART-BREAKING video shows two lions playing with a yelping baby antelope for TWENTY MINUTES before killing it.
The big cats go from licking and pawing the kudu to an all-out-attack. The harrowing footage ends with the male tossing around its corpse.
The recent recording was captured on a Nikon z7 in Addo Elephant Park Eastern Cape by photographer, Lee-Anne Robertson (50) from Addo, South Africa.
Lee-Anne was 98 feet away when she spotted the predators play with its prey.
“I was watching the pair of lions, and after some time they got up, crossed the road in front of me and headed for some thick bush,” Lee-Anne said.
“I thought that was the end of the sighting and they were going to find some shade to sleep.
“Suddenly I saw some movement and a kudu calf came charging out the bush with the male lion running behind her.
“I realised there was going to be a kill, so still driving, I grabbed my camera and began to shoot and drove closer to where the lion and kudu were running, hence the wobbly beginning to my video.
“They pinned the baby kudu down and just kept it in that position, I think they were hoping the desperate mother would hear the distressed calls and come close enough for them to try and catch the mother too.”
Lee-Anne believes the lions are siblings which were orphaned at a very young age.
Young lions do not hunt until they are a year old, but Lee-Anne estimates the brother-sister duo were seasoned killers being two-and-a-half years old.
“The baby tried a few times to escape and each time the lions would pounce on it, licking it and pawing it but not killing it. This went on for about twenty minutes,” she said.
“It was hard to watch as I felt sorry for the baby kudu. I decided to document it as it happened as I realised, as a wildlife photographer, a moment in the bush is never repeated.
“But my gut feeling was that there was to be no lucky escape. I knew the baby would be eaten.”
Kudu’s Afrikaans name translates to ‘part zebra, part deer’. Like many antelopes, they tend to be solitary creatures, which unfortunately led to this kudu’s demise.
The clip has amassed over 138,000 views on Instagram.
“Lions are apex predators and while some may find this disturbing, we must also marvel at their ability to hunt, to find prey, hide and wait for the perfect moment and work as a team to bring down prey,” Lee-Anne said.
“I think their ability to do this is remarkable.”