THIS MOTHER giraffe courageously karate kicked a four-hundred-pound lioness who was attacking her ONE-DAY-OLD baby.
Dramatic pictures show a mother and baby giraffe being chased down by a ruthless lioness before the predator pounced on the baby and savagely broke its neck.
Other images show the mum’s desperate attempt to ward off the predator by kicking her legs like a martial arts master.
However, tragically her calf met a grizzly end as the lioness devoured her kill beneath the grassland reeds. The six-foot, 150-pound baby giraffe sadly didn’t stand a chance of survival after being ambushed by the muscular 400-pound big cat.
The giraffe’s only day on Earth was captured by IT worker, Srikanth Santhinathan (29) from Tamil Nadu, India, on a Nikon D750. The part-time photographer shot the series of unfortunate events in the Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya.
“One morning we watched the large giraffe and noticed the lioness stalking it from behind. And just two minutes later the baby giraffe was gone,” said the photographer.
“The mother tried to kick away the lion but unfortunately she was not able to, the neck of the giraffe was broken by the pounce of the lion.
“And after that the lion went in again and started eating the baby while the mother giraffe ran away and we just watched the lion eat the baby for almost twenty minutes.”
Young giraffes have a mortality rate of just 50 per cent in their first six months. Once they reach adulthood however, only the bravest of lions attempt to hunt adult giraffes, so this hungry lioness opted for only the baby instead.
A giraffe’s neck allows it to keep an eye out for predators, but babies are incapable of this. Srikanth, with his camera, was 50 feet away from the action.
“I get a lot of messages on Facebook about this photo saying, ‘why didn’t you save the baby giraffe?’ But photography is not about interfering with nature, things go how things go and whilst it is sad, we should also respect the ecosystem,” he added.
“My emotions were mixed, one out of love for the giraffe but one of understanding for the lions. As the lioness who was five-to-seven years old had her cubs to feed.
“The mother tried to wake the baby giraffe, but it was not responding. Based on the skin tone from the knowledge of my guide. He [sadly] confirmed that it was one day old.”
You can follow the part-time photographer on Instagram @srikanth.santhinathan, where he has nearly 6,000 followers.