Lions Slowly Creep Up To and Attack Rival

This male lion was caught off guard by two dominant male lions when he was lazing on the warm tarmac of the runway.


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Peter Forsyth, a 24-year-old field guide, witnessed this sighting during his safari in the Sabi Sands, Greater Kruger National Park. Peter shared his sighting and footage with

“We were tracking lions based on audio cues when we came across a lone lion. To our surprise, it wasn’t one of the dominant coalition males ruling the area. We knew that the roars of this solitary lion would inevitably attract trouble.”

Peter and his group observed the lion for about 20 minutes until things changed. The two dominant males of the area suddenly appeared. However, it was their approach that was so unique as they silently stalked and approached the lion without him even sensing their presence.

What sets this encounter apart is how quietly the dominant males approached. In a world where staying silent and using strategy is crucial, these two lions stealthily stalked the intruder. Surprisingly, despite being in the open, the lone lion didn’t sense their presence until they were almost on top of him.

At one point, he even glanced their way, and the two males were right there. But he failed to notice them, showing just how stealthy and cautious they had been.

The coalition males focused on asserting their dominance, engaged in a brief and intense skirmish. Rather than intending to kill the lone male, their display was a means to establish dominance. They roared to make their statement, letting the solitary lion know who is in charge.

In the lion world, teamwork is vital. Male lions team up in groups to protect their territory and find food. These groups of male lions are called coalitions. When young males grow up, they are kicked out of their pride to find a new area or form their own coalition. Sometimes fights occur if lions from one coalition enter another coalition’s territory.

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“The battle was brief but intense, with each lion weighing in close to 400 pounds and going at each other. It was an exciting yet intimidating feeling to be that close to so much power. For me, it was a heart-pounding experience. In my six years in the area, I had never witnessed lions fighting like this before. It was truly an adrenaline rush.”

During such sightings, giving the animals extra space is vital. Initially parked quite close to the lone lion, Peter and his group wisely backed off by about 20 meters when they realized the two dominant males were joining the scene. This cautious approach ensured they didn’t interfere with the animals and their potential movements.

Written by Mohammed Kathrada

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