Lioness faces off against fearless wildebeest

Posted on 4 October 2023 By Tsoku Maela

In an astonishing twist of events, a lioness found herself perplexing as she hunted a wildebeest that seemed to defy the odds by nearly nodding off right before her eyes. The remarkable encounter was documented by 25-year-old safari and trails guide, Juan Malan, within the captivating Lapalala Wilderness. Juan graciously shared this extraordinary sighting with

‘While accompanying the lodge owners on a drive through the northern part of the property in the hopes of witnessing something extraordinary,” Juan recounted, “our adventure took an exhilarating turn. We stumbled upon a lone lioness stealthily concealed in the thickets, her watchful gaze fixed on the open grasslands, yearning for an opportunity to seize her prey, even though no other animals were visible at that moment.’

Hours later, upon returning to the same location, the scene had undergone a dramatic transformation. Across the open plains, a herd of wildebeest were serenely grazing. A female wildebeest with a fractured hind leg struggled to keep pace among them. From a distance, the lioness had been silently stalking her quarry.

Anticipation filled the air as the group came to a halt, their eyes riveted to the unfolding drama. The lioness confronted the wildebeest head-on, creating a tense standoff. The lioness, accustomed to her prey typically fleeing in fear, was confounded as the wildebeest stood her ground. The lioness, then, adopted a crouching position, her belly brushing the ground, opting to play the waiting game. In an eerie mimicry, the wildebeest also crouched down, giving the appearance of nearly dozing off. However, this behaviour was a strategy often employed by wildebeests during combat. Unfortunately for the wildebeest, this decision would prove to be her undoing.

Seizing the opportunity, the lioness pounced with precision, successfully bringing down the injured wildebeest. With her formidable jaws, she clamped onto her prey, delivering a fatal bite to the throat. That marked the end for the wildebeest. The lioness then dragged her kill back into the undergrowth, seeking both shade and protection.

What transpired next was truly exceptional and heartwarming. The lioness summoned her cubs from the depths of the thicket, and Juan’s lens immortalized the heartwarming scene of a mother imparting the ways of the wild to her offspring. Playfulness and learning ensued as the cubs frolicked, and rolled in the grass, all while the wildebeest provided nourishment for the family.

Watch the encounter below:


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