An incredibly rare moment was caught on camera as a lioness, hoping to feed her cubs, single-handedly tried to take down an elephant!
Zimbabwe, Africa – It is not every day you get to see a lone lioness attempt to take down an elephant. In fact, it wasn’t even an enormous elephant; the poor creature was quite young when the lioness attacked.
According to Samuel Chevallier, a 28-year-old filmmaker from the African Bush Camps film team called Rewild, the sighting was intense but a once in a lifetime experience.
He told LatestSightings.com about the sighting, saying it all started while they were viewing the cubs.
“We had just left the Somalisa camp in Hwange after an early rise and a steaming cup of coffee. To start the day we headed in the direction where we viewed a lion pride the previous evening. The early morning light broke and we were happy to find that they were still resting in the same place. We watched for a while as the cubs were playing with one another and then the mother started getting active as gathered the cubs and walked them through the bush. Slowly we pursued them to see what they were up to and after some time, the mother headed into the thicket. The next thing, all we heard was the screeching sound of an elephant!”
“We headed into the bush to find the lioness on top of a young elephant trying to bring her down. The lioness clawed into the thick skin of the elephant – hanging on while the elephant fought against the strong grip and pull of the lioness. After a few moments of struggling to get the lioness off, the elephant managed to shake loose from the lioness’s grip and exited into the bush behind her. Whilst all of the action was happening, the cubs were laying in the tall grass looking on as their mother attempted to secure a meal, but, after an unsuccessful attack, the mother came to collect the cubs and headed away into the morning – luckily, unscathed from the encounter.”
“It was an intense moment trying to capture the event as the adrenaline was high and we were all so alert with all that was taking place. It’s never easy hearing the sound of a screeching animal fighting to survive. It was a case of mixed emotions and we were slightly relieved to see the young elephant escaping the grips of the lioness, although, witnessing the hunger of the cubs as they waited for their mother to bring home the meal – a contradiction of emotion that I had not quite felt before.”
“For me this experience was extremely rare, never in all my years of guiding have I ever seen such a sighting as elephant and lion have always had an interesting relationship. Often elephants will push a lion away eagerly – especially when they are in big herds. My advice to onlookers in the wild, is to be careful, engage in the moment and note on the behaviour of a lion/lioness before they attack.”
Thankfully for our hearts, the young elephant managed to push her off and get away. It is always tricky with nature, while we are so thankful the elephant survived, we are also sad the cubs missed their meal. At least lions are quite resilient, and we are sure mama lion got them a good meal in the end.
Watch the video below.