This intense lion chase and kill was captured by 32-year-old, field guide, Tarryn Rae. She has been a field guide in Pilanesberg National Park for almost five years and is currently working as a field guide for Mankwe Gametrackers. The excitement took place on a morning game drive in the park.
Tarryn tells Latestsightings.com how the action played out: “I set out with guests on a 5:30 am game drive. Part of the excitement of my job is driving through the gate and never knowing what is going to happen. I had just got back from my days off, and I was not sure what had been happening in the reserve. As we entered the gate I heard on the radio that there were some lions sleeping near the center of the reserve. The view of the lions was not great according to other guides and we were still miles away. Regardless, I decided we would take a slow drive and get there when we get there.”
“I often tell my guests that as far as game drives go, it is all about being in the right place at the right time – mixed in with a little bit of luck! On this day, luck was very much in our favour… Not just once, but twice!”
“We arrived at the sighting about an hour and a half after it had been called in. They were still lying down but not for long. After a few minutes, they got up and started moving towards the road. With it being a weekend, there were quite a few cars around. One thing I have learned is to give an animal a gap and not block their path.”
“We had the most amazing sighting as the whole pride headed towards the road and crossed over in front of us. We were very excited and my guests were very happy. I always say that the day I’m not excited to share a sighting like this with my guests is the day I should no longer do this job.”
“From there we decided to head to Mankwe hide for a comfort break. The view from the hide is always breathtakingly beautiful and worthwhile to see. While we were there I heard that the lions had come to the water for a drink. We were happy to just relax as we had seen them so perfectly. That was until a herd of wildebeest came to the water for a drink right next to the hide and headed off in the direction that the lions were in.”
“At that point, I said to my guests that I think we should go and follow the wildebeest. I had a feeling something was about to happen. We climbed back into the game viewer and headed back down the road. I made the decision to stay with the wildebeest and away from the traffic. If ever you think a predator is hunting the best thing to do is follow the prey, not the predator.”
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“We found a gap where we could see both the wildebeest and the lions coming from a distance. As the one lioness got to the top of a hill and saw the wildebeest she immediately crouched down. Obviously, at this point my stomach was in knots! The rest of the pride were just casually walking and I thought to myself the wildebeests are going to see them and it will be game over. The herd headed closer to the hill and had no clue what was waiting for them on the other side.”
“As they got within a couple of meters the lioness, she jumped up and ran towards them. The herd turned and ran for their lives. Sadly, one made a fatal mistake, as she ran towards the lioness with a horn movement before turning to run. This slowed her down and the lioness managed to grab her. The rest of the pride then came in two young blonde males, another female, and 4 cubs. Surprisingly the lioness momentarily let go of her prey and it tried to get away but to no avail.”
Lions Hunt Pregnant Wildebeest and Pull the Baby Out!
“Once they brought her to the ground it was game over. It took around three minutes from the chase to the lions killing the wildebeest. One can’t help but have a rush of emotions while watching something like this, but at the same time, you realize how privileged you are to witness the power of these big cats!”
“No sooner had I said to my guests that it looks like a pregnant wildebeest the lioness ripped the fetus out and turned away from the rest of the pride with it. That for me was a real emotional part of the whole thing. We watched them eating for a while and then left the sighting to give others a chance to see.”
“In my five years as a field guide, this was the 6th successful hunt that I have been privileged enough to witness. I have seen many attempts but only 6 successful ones however, this one had to be the closest and most textbook one. It almost feels as though you are watching it on TV you can’t believe what you are actually witnessing. If you ever get the opportunity to view something like this it is ok to be emotional about it but above all also realize how lucky you are to get to witness nature doing what it does.”