Home Cute 1 Crab Takes on Pride of Lions

1 Crab Takes on Pride of Lions

Watch as these curious lions come across a crab in broad daylight and surround it! Will the crustacean escape?

Nadav Ossendryver Avatar


Watch as these curious lions come across a crab in broad daylight and surround it! Will the crustacean escape?

The crustacean had emerged from its burrow and was trying to cross a river at the MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa.

In a stroke of bad luck, the scuttling crab was spotted by the Kambula pride of lions and lionesses. The crab on the move 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.

1 Crab Takes on Pride of Lions

Within a few moments, four other young lions joined in and surrounded the 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 until it could escape down its hole to safety.

Have you downloaded our brand-new Latest Sightings App? Upload your exciting wildlife sightings!

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 their distance, deciding it was safer to avoid it.

1 Crab Takes on Pride of Lions!

Rangers Ruggiero Barreto, 30, and Robyn Sewell, 27, captured this 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. It is located in the Kruger National Park which is full of predators. The lions didn’t expect a lone crab to take on a pride of lions!

Ruggiero and Robyn told LatestSightings.com the story: “We left the camp at sunrise with the hope of finding lions. We were lucky enough to find a pride at a riverbank. They were sheltering from the wind in the Mlowathi Riverbed. Because they were sleeping we thought we would drive on and come back a little later. Suddenly we noticed one of the sub-adults get up and start staring at something. 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. The first lion went over to investigate what it was. To protect itself 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. Unfortunately for him, 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 where it disappeared into a burrow. At this point, 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’s bite is the coconut crab. It 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.”

The bird-eating behemoths are found on the islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are so strong can smash open coconuts and could lift a 10-year-old child.

Share to...