By Amy Walters
HEARTBREAKING images have captured the moment a brave two-thousand-pound buffalo dragged along a coalition of hungry lions that were hanging off its back.
In one image, the cape buffalo could be seen as it whimpered out in pain after an African lion latched itself onto the buffalo’s lower-body, sinking its sharp teeth into the buffalo’s skin.
Another image captured the moment a group of 500-pound lions began ganging up on their kill, where they sunk their sharp claws and teeth into every area of the 2,000-pound buffalo’s body, as it took its last breath.
In the footage, the lions were later spotted as they huddled together and began tearing apart and devouring the innocent buffalo.
The heart-breaking photographs and footage were taken by finance director Murray Jacklin (50) from Surrey, UK, who captured the brutal attack in the Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya, Africa, from 98-feet away. It took just 24 hours for the gang of lions to fully devour the buffalo.
Murray captured these upsetting images and footage with a Canon 7D MK2 camera and a Canon 100-400mm lens. Murray shared this spectacle on his Instagram, @murray.wildlifephotography.
“I was on a photographic safari in Kenya, when I came across a pride of around fifteen lions who were sleeping in the shade and then suddenly, they noticed a buffalo in the distance,” Murray said.
“Two of the pride males began approaching the buffalo slowly which then turned into a full blown run, where the remaining thirteen lions joined in and began chasing after the innocent buffalo.
“Due to the size of the pride and number of strong males, it only took just a few minutes for the buffalo to be brought down – but it tried its best to fend off the multiple launches made by different pride members.
“The buffalo at first tried to run away, but it was quickly surrounded and once it had lost its footing – it was game over.
“The whole pride literally clambered on top of the innocent buffalo and held it down whilst one of the lionesses began suffocating it, where the buffalo screamed in pain. Eventually, it gave up due to the sheer strength of its attackers.
“Once the buffalo was pinned to the ground and suffocated by the nose, it took just five minutes for the buffalo to be killed and I believe it was devoured within less than twenty-four hours.
“Despite the brutality of the lions, I got to witness nature in its rawest form and it was a privilege being able to capture these shots.
“Although this type of event happens fairly often, the outcome is usually in favour of the buffalo due to its sheer strength and weight at two-thousand pounds compared to that of the lions’ at five-hundred pounds.
“I have never witnessed such a brutal scene, but it was without a doubt one of the most extraordinary sightings I have seen in the African bush.”
The cape buffalo and African lion are eternal enemies, but lions will usually favour smaller prey such as wildebeests instead. However, when a pride is large enough, they will target larger animals such as buffalo, but will only prove successful in only one out of seven attempts.