He used the Impala carcass almost as a lure. The Scar-Nose Majingilane Male lion, sat hidden in the thickets. His dark mane blended in perfectly with the dark green shrub. The half eaten impala carcass was left about 3 meters from his hiding spot and the vultures were accumulating. At one stage I counted 20 vultures circling above, a further 15 sat waiting passionately in the nearby trees.
Judging by the tracks it was obvious that the male lion had stolen this carcass from a female leopard, but I could not understand why he did not just eat it, or at least drag it out of sight of the scavenger birds, so as to consume it in his own time. His fat belly suggested he had already just come off a kill. Maybe he felt like a bit of a game…
The birds grew impatient and started descending onto the ground. As soon as the first one showed the courage to approach the kill, the rest followed suite. Suddenly there were vultures all over the ground. Squawking, hissing and feathers flying! The tail of the lion flickered ever so slightly…his plan was working. I truly believe he was trying to catch a vulture.
As soon as a Hooded Vulture ventured a centimeter too close the male lion charged out of his hiding place!
The bird was too fast and managed to flap away in the knick of time.
Tired of the game, the male lion picked up the carcass and ran away from the ever growing wake of vultures.
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister