Saturday, June 7, 2008

A battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles

I found this video on YouTube, did some research and discovered more info on Maniac World

This is the Battle at Kruger. This is an amazing battle between a pride of lions and a heard of buffalo. When the lions capture the baby buffalo, they think the battle is over - but really it's just begun. An army of buffaloes come back in a mobilized front to take the baby back. For good measure, a couple of crocodiles join the foray, but don't make much of an impact.

The Facts:

Battle at Kruger is a viral video which was widely praised for its dramatic depiction of life on the African savannah.

It was also the subject of an article in the June 25, 2007 issue of Time Magazine and was featured in the first episode of ABC News' i-Caught, aired on August 7, 2007. A National Geographic documentary is also planned. Filmed in September 2004 by videographer David Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg at a watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, the video depicts a confrontation between a herd of Cape Buffalo, a small pride of lions, and a pair of crocodiles.

Taken from a vehicle on the opposite side of the watering hole, the video begins with the herd of buffalo approaching the water, unaware of the lions resting nearby. The lions charge and disperse the herd, picking off a young buffalo and knocking it into the water. While trying to drag the buffalo out of the water, it is grabbed by a pair of crocodiles, who fight strenuously for it before giving up and leaving it to the lions. The lions sit down and prepare to eat, but are quickly surrounded by the reorganized buffalo, who move in and start kicking at the lions. After a battle which includes one lion being tossed through the air, the baby buffalo (who is miraculously still alive) escapes into the herd. The emboldened buffalo chase the remainder of the lions away. It is not known if the youngster survived the ordeal.

Two veterinarians and animal behaviorists interviewed by Time assert that the behavior exhibited by the buffalo is not unusual. Dr. Sue McDonnell of the University of Pennsylvania (School of Veterinary Medicine) said of the video:

"The larger herd is broken down into smaller harems, with a dominant male and several females and their babies. If a youngster is threatened, both the harem males and bachelor males - which usually fight with one another - will get together to try to rescue it."

Amongst the very few things that I miss about South Africa, is the bush. I used to wait until a Thursday then call all the private lodges to see what specials they had. They generally offered steep discounts on unsold stock. This way I got to spend glorious weekends at private lodges I would not normally be able to afford. Lodges like Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Ngala, Inyati, Singita, Sabi Sabi, Ulusaba and Mala Mala.

Nothing beats a early morning game drive or walk. One time at Ulusaba we walked through a herd of zebra and came within a dozen feet of a giraffe. Another time, I was driving through Mala Mala to the camp when a rhino trotted alongside the car for ages.

I look forward to taking Ben and Shira to the bush once they are older. If we lived in South Africa, I would have taken them to the lodges already but that 19 hour flight from NYC to Johannesburg does not do good things to young children, that and the 7 hour time change.

Here's another buffalo vs lion movie
7 members of the Nduna pride downed a buffalo calf. It's cries bring back the herd. The lions try to hang on to their prize but are chased off by the buffalo several times. The calf's mother comes to its assistance and amazingly after being under lion tooth and claw for 10 minutes the calf gets up and follows its mother.

Just a note to end. My accent is nothing like those you hear on the videos, just in case you thought all South Africans sound that flat.

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