View Full Version : Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP (Part 2)

Marc Mol
06-07-2015, 07:15 AM
................Our story continues

Having finally positioned our vehicle closer as the action now started to spread to the river section making for some exciting water chase/dance routine sequences.:bg3:

D3s 500VR 1/200s f/4 ISO6400


I've left the other buffalo still in the frame and could have cropped it out, either way, but it showed the calmness at times the other buffalo
seemed to portray as his mate was copping a full round house clawing on his back.http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/images/smilies/Whoa%21.png
At times the rest of the pride even took time out to grab a drink as the battle developed into a series of rounds.
I, unfortunately didn't have all day to capture a lot more of the action as light as diminishing fast.:e3

D3s 500VR 1/250s f/4 ISO6400


An hour has passed and after much mayhem one of the buffalo has become stuck in the thick gooey mud of the riverbank and the pride
seized the moment and began tucking in by taking out the tail and biting the spine, subsequently paralysing it.
During the time it became stuck, and with the pride concentrating it's attention on this hapless guy the other daga boy headed for the safety of the scrub,
however he amazingly returned to help it's bro and fatally paid the price with the pride turning on it, this made sense as it was less of a risk with the other
now drawing the attention of large crocs with it trying feebly to free itself from it's muddy grave.
Using my SB900 flash with it's effective built-in zoom function shows the reflecting croc eyes in the BG.

D3s 500VR +SB900 1/60s f/4 ISO400, slight crop top & bottom to pano.


7.16am (next morning)
It's now the following morning and most of the pride are digesting their meal and relaxing in the early morning rays,
the no-tip tail female however couldn't resist one last antagonistic confrontation with the mud stuck buffalo which had somehow managed to turn and face the shoreline.
...............truly mortal enemies!
This poor fellow perished later that evening, being eaten whilst still alive, from behind by crocodiles. The lions didn't bother.
The whole battle experience I shall cherish and never forget, thanks for putting up with the long winded story and image line.:bg3:

D3s 500VR 1/2500s f/5.6 ISO800


Cheers Marc

Diane Miller
06-07-2015, 09:11 AM
An incredible encounter, very well documented!!! Hard to watch, but that's nature. Thanks for posting.

Gabriela Plesea
06-07-2015, 01:55 PM
Dear Marc,

Despite the heart-wrenching content, I would do anything to witness and capture such images... "nature at its best" is a cliche I normally avoid using, but I simply cannot find a better description of this events you are sharing with us...

Marc - this is truly amazing, frame no 4 has so many dramatic elements, I keep going back to view...the reflection in the buffalo's eyes shows he /she is still alive but obviously the lioness is already tasting his /her flesh. Gruesome in a way, but the lions have to eat... This happens ever so often in Nature but only one very lucky photographer gets to document such event, so my congratulations for this amazing sighting and for those wonderful frames - thank you so much for sharing, I truly appreciate it:5

Kind regards,

Tobie Schalkwyk
06-08-2015, 01:11 AM
Great sequence of events, captured well Marc! It looks like you've had a great trip with amazing shots as evidence!

Marina Scarr
06-08-2015, 08:49 AM
Another riveting series, Marc!!! That 4th frame just blows me away and there is such a story in just that image.

Morkel Erasmus
06-12-2015, 05:48 PM
Cracking story and images mate...all of them telling the story in a different way...
though I am not usually a fan of wildlife images with "flashed" eyes, I do like the one that shows the crocs lurking in the BG!

Marc Mol
06-14-2015, 10:31 AM
Appreciate the comments everyone, many thanks!

Cracking story and images mate...all of them telling the story in a different way...
though I am not usually a fan of wildlife images with "flashed" eyes, I do like the one that shows the crocs lurking in the BG!

Thanks Morkel, as I know this isn't the first time you have seen most of these, not a fan of flashed eyes either, but more to show the lurking flatdogs :w3

Andre Pretorius
06-27-2015, 10:52 AM
Amazing capture Mark!

Very lucky to be there at the right time, well executed!