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Robert Ball

Contributor

Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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28 Comments

on Lessons From a Lion Hunting Buffalos

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Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Robbie the buffalo’s are incredible protective over their calves are so rightly so. Shame but in the end it did succumb to the male lion. The lion is beautiful and still young and vibrant. If you think about it, maybe it is better that the lion killed the calf, because going through life with a broken leg is not exactly easy for the poor buffalo calf. It is still heart breaking to see, but that is life in the bush and only the strongest survive.

Robert Ball
Contributor

As you say Valmai, only the strongest survive. After all, the lion was playing an important role in the ecosystem by removing sick and/or wounded individuals from the population.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi Robert, i watched the Jouberts documentary on Ma di Tau the lone lioness trying to rescue her cubs. Buffaloes are very clever and cohesive animals, when in a team they are the most powerful force! Lions must be very brave and very hungry to challenge them when attacking a herd. I feel for the calf although it was condemned. Nature has its rules and balance.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You are correct, Francesca, Nature does have a balance and a single lion may not be able to take down a fully grown, healthy buffalo, but it will take its chances with a wounded calf instead.

Irene Henkes
Digital Tracker

Wow, what a morning! Those ostriches are really fast! And this lion is a beautiful specimen!!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

What an exciting morning. It is really great how protective the buffalos are if one of them is in danger, though, of course, sometimes it doesn’t help.

William Paynter
Senior Digital Ranger

Robert, thanks for info on the lion hunt. Patience does indeed breed success. Animals teach us many things if we just have the patience to learn.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, William.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Incredible stalking ability!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thoroughly enjoyed your narrative Robert! That would have been exciting to witness, but potentially it could also have lead to the lion’s demise. In the decision making of to go or stay, I would have followed my gut to hang in for awhile knowing the calf was probably injured, and as you stated, the lion would take a break, listen and watch, then make his move. But hindsight is always 20/20!! You all still had a fantastic morning!!

Robert Ball
Contributor

Thank you Denise, a fantastic and exciting morning was had nonetheless. You are right though, sometimes its best to stick to your gut!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

What an incredible days viewing! Sadly, for some reason I was unable to watch the video …is was all black ? But I’m sure you kicked yourselves for having to leave knowing later that the lions patience and persistence paid off.

Robert Ball
Contributor

Cally, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the blog. My apologies that the video wasn’t working on your end, however there does not seem to be a technical error on our side. You’re right… We did kick ourselves a bit with hindsight knowledge, but it was settling to at least have some closure on the matter.

Paul Canales
Digital Tracker

Amazing sequence, and very valuable life lessons. Thanks Robert, and what an incredible encounter!

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Paul. i’m glad you were able to take something away from it!

Marcia Parker
Senior Digital Ranger

Love that photo of Nkuhuma focus in the stalk!

Robert Ball
Contributor

Thank you, Marcia.

Terry Henegar
Explorer

Thanks for the lion hunt. Great to see the Young Nkuhuma Male doing well. Do you know if he has found another partner since he lost his friend the Young Styx Male?

Robert Ball
Contributor

Not that we are aware of, Terry.

Terry Henegar
Explorer

Thank you appreciate it

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Robert, it always amazes us at the buffalo’s protective instincts. They do “gang together” to protect their young, even though their passion does not always end up in success!

Robert Ball
Contributor

Not always, but often their efforts do result in the lions being deterred!

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

A really heart stopping drive Robert. Although sad, the poor soul was injured and would likely not have lasted long – falling prey to another cat. I guess the lion deserved his meal for being so calculating. The circle of life. Thanks for sharing with us.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Leonie. Heart-stopping it was!

Wow what an amazing story and the photo of the NYM!! Yes it is sad that he lost his partner Styx Male. Their life is more fragile than one can imagine even though these majestic beauties have such a resilience!! Tough as nail but such a hard life!! I’m glad he is looking in tip top shape. Also the widow maker is very protective of their young. Thank you for such a great story and beautiful images!! I hope you have a blessed day!! Much respect and appreciation from North Carolina!!

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Buffie, I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

Gawie Jordaan
Senior Digital Ranger

Nature is a teacher & we are students… being hasty can lead to ‘burnt fingers’ & there truely is strengh in numbers. Mankind can achieve many things IF they stand together.
I absolutely love the Nkuhuma young male! He definitely has good genes.

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

Great story! Yes……going by your gut feel in the bush can lead to some amazing moments…..and I am very glad that the Nkuhuma male got his meal!

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