AFRICANGLOBE – Even the bravest of the brave have to use their common sense on occasions. When the lions have the advantage, they get their meal. When the buffalo have the advantage, the lion or lions don’t get their meal. It’s about survival. That lion found out that the buffalo had the advantage, so he was smart and evaded being stomped or gored to death. Below are remarkable pictures showing a cowardly lion fleeing a herd of angry buffalo – by scrambling up a tree.
Despite retreating to the unusual safety zone the danger wasn’t quite over as the buffalo – prone to trampling – gathered under the tree to wait for the lion to fall. Charles Comyn, a 63-year-old ex-army official, was exploring the stunning Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya with his wife when he stumbled across the incredible scene. But the animals known for unpredictable behaviour – suddenly became nervous.
‘All of a sudden, literally out of nowhere, a male lion sprang out from his hiding place hightailing for a nearby tree with the buffalo now starting to give chase.
‘It didn’t take long before the lion had scrambled up the tree, fearing for its life. ‘The marauding buffalo circled below, smelling the lion. They were not going to let it get away.’
The herd had realised the lion was stalking the young buffalo and weren’t about to give it a lucky escape, he said. But after a few seconds of clinging onto the tree the cowering lion became to tremble and tire and started to slide down the bark.
Out of desperation the big cat let out a snarl and suddenly leapt from the tree, ran towards Mr. Comyn’s jeep and disappeared into the bush. Mr. Comyn said: ‘It was a hair-tingling moment. The lion could not hang for long – one could really sense that he was almost doomed – so he had to make another attempt to flee.
‘Very quickly the buffalo resumed their early morning grazing. It was only then that we spotted the newly born calf in the middle of the herd, which they obviously had been protecting from the lion who possibly had spotted a potential light breakfast. ‘What a magical, unforgettable, and as we later learnt, unheard of occurrence.’