There are many iconic rivalries in the wilds of Africa, some factual, some a bit more imagined.
Lions and buffalo, leopards and baboons (leopards generally don’t bother with baboons at Londolozi), mongooses and snakes…
And when it comes to predators and prey, we tend to imagine textbook scenarios; predator sees prey, predator stalks, prey sees predator, prey flees, predator chases, and so on. But this is far from the case (usually). Every situation and every animal is different.
So when ranger Sean Zeederberg found the Tsalala lioness at Finfoot Crossing recently, and then saw a large giraffe coming down to the river to drink, he knew he couldn’t commit 100% to a prediction of what would happen:
And nothing did…
The old bull was far too big a target for the single lioness to even think of tackling, and the giraffe was well aware that a single lioness didn’t pose that much of a threat for him.
Prey species also read a lot into the body language of predators. A lion slinking low down in the long grass represents a stalking animal with intent, but a lioness simply lazing on the sand right out in the open is not something to be afraid of.
It’s been awhile since a pride on Londolozi was regularly hunting big giraffes. Both the Styx and Ntsevu prides have made attempts recently, but neither were successful. With the Ntsevu pride needing more meat by the day to feed their hungry cubs, maybe it won’t be too long before the giraffe bulls like the one in the video above need to start treading much more carefully..