This is the amazing moment a pride of lions were seen off as they came claw-to-claw in the wild…with a feisty four-inch CRAB!
The crustacean had unusually come out of its burrow in daylight and was trying to cross a river at the MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa.
But in a stroke of roar bad luck the scuttling crab was spotted by the Kambula pride of lions and lionesses and it sparked their curiosity.
First one of the sub-adults went for a look but the freshwater crab was in an un-snappy mood and went up on its back legs with claws raised.
Within a few moments four other young lions joined in and surrounded the crabby crab in a pincer movement but it wouldn’t back down.
It carried on retreating to its burrow in the river bank keeping the lions at bay single clawed until it could escape down its hole to safety.
The tale of the tape showed the young predators at about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and 275lbs in weight should have taken out the crab.
But snapping its claws at their curious soft noses the lions kept a safe distance away deciding it was safer to avoid the mane event.
Rangers Ruggiero Barreto, 30, and Robyn Sewell, 27, captured the clawsome encounter on video at the MalaMala Private Game Reserve.
The 33,000 acre Big Five reserve is one of the oldest and biggest in South Africa in the Kruger National Park which is full of predators.
But they didn’t expect a lone crab to take on a pride of lions – and pose for them for a shellfie!
They told LatestSightings.com: “We left the camp at sun rise with the hope of finding lions and were lucky enough to find a pride at a riverbank.
“They were sheltering from the wind in the Mlowathi Riverbed and were sleeping so we thought we would drive on and look back a little later.
“But suddenly we noticed one of the sub-adults get up and start staring at something and at first we thought it was a scorpion but it was a crab.
“They normally only come out after dark but this one was crossing the river in daylight and it aroused the curiosity of the young lions in the pride.
“The lions were surprised by the appearance of perhaps something they had not seen before and the first lion went over to investigate what it was.
“The crab went up on its back legs and had its claws at the ready.
“The poor little fella was trying to make it to the riverbank where its burrow was when more lions came over to check it out until there were five of them.
“The crab kept its claws up at the lions as it backed up until it made the bank and disappeared into a burrow and then the young lions lost interest.
“Not many betting people would have given the crab good odds on making it across the river past a pride of lions but this little fella was up for it” they said.
The only crab in the world with enough force in its claws to match a lion bite is the coconut crab which grows to 18 inches and has super-strength pincers.
Marine biologist Shinichiro Oka told Reuters: “The pinching force of the largest coconut crab is almost equal to the bite force of an adult lion it is so strong.
“They can generate a force of about 90 times their body weight allowing them to crush something with about six tons of force so close to a lion” he said.
The bird-eating-behemoths are found on the islands in the Indian and Pacific Ocean and are so strong can smash open coconuts and could lift a 10-year-old child.