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Buffaloes that Trap Lion in Tree Try Bite his Balls

An unlucky lion chased by buffalo finds himself trapped by two angry herds; he chooses to ascend a tree in defence. A wise move or not?

Scared lion trapped by stampeding buffaloes

26-year-old Victoria Craddock and 27-year-old Chad Hobson had the marvellous opportunity to not only witness but film this entire interaction. They shared the story and footage with

MalaMala Game Reserve has the luxury of outstanding game viewing. On this guest stay, we enjoyed fantastic lion sightings, so having the opportunity to find something a little different was truly pleasant. A large herd of buffalo.”

lions relaxing in the shade

“When we arrived, there were lions in the distance as well, although the lions were aware of the herd of buffalo. It is worth noting that this group of lions had killed two sub-adult buffalo in the last 48 hours, so I had little expectation that they would hunt again. The fact that it was an extremely hot day did not favour the prospects of an interaction. However, the prospect of a lion-buffalo interaction is always exciting.”

“The herd of 100-plus buffaloes arrived at the dam; the lighting was magnificent as they kicked up dust and wallowed in the muddy water. Once the herd had quenched their thirst, they moved east. What we were unaware of was that the lions had noticed a different herd of buffalo that were heading towards the same dam.”

Scared lion cub treed by buffaloes

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Lion cub swatting at buffalo

“The lions began to stir and pursue the second herd, creating pandemonium. As the lions chased the second herd, the second herd retaliated and chased the lions into a dry riverbed, where the original herd lingered. The first herd was equally displeased with the presence of the lions and began to chase them.”


“The lions found themselves between two angry herds of buffaloes. At this point, one young male made the impulsive decision to climb a russet bushwillow. This was not a wise move, as the buffalo were now angry. The tree he climbed was not by any means big enough. He scrambled to keep himself out of reach of the thrashing horns. The buffaloes remained at the base of the tree for almost an hour, sniffing and thrashing at the young lion’s feet.”

Lion chased by buffalo

“Eventually the intensity of the sighting plateaued. Just when the persistent buffalo became distracted by the other lions, the young male made his descent. With his tail between his legs and a sense of relief on his face, he rejoined the pride.”

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