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Sean Zeederberg

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As a young boy growing up on an agricultural farm in Zimbabwe, Sean spent every opportunity entertaining himself outdoors, camping in the local nature reserve and learning about all facets of the natural world. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental ...

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on Epic Buffalo Hunt and Ambush: Virtual Safari #186

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Hi Sean, do you think part of the reason the rest of the herd didn’t chase the lions off was because it was dark? I’m guessing their night vision is quite poor?

It could have been part of the reason. Although the ambient light around while we were filming would have helped them to see. I honestly think it was because there was very little distress calls, the wind was quite strong and they weren’t sure what was going on.

Sean, What a great story and video! We were lucky to see the “Ntsevu Five” in action on our last visit as you know. We were amazed at their patience and strategy in their hunt. Is the buffalo herd the same one from 6 weeks ago or are there other herds that keep moving through? What a great set-up for the lions!

Thank you so much, Micheal. They are perfecting the art of hunting buffalo and by doing it after dark is definitely a good strategy. I think it could be part of the same herd of buffalo. There has been a lot buffalo moving through the grasslands sometimes in herds numbering more than 1000, other times seen in smaller groups.

Incredible video, thanks Sean. Surprise at night is hard to defend.

Surprise at night is very hard to defend.

Senior Digital Ranger

Many indigenous cultures talk about how animals know when it’s their time or another’s time to give themselves up for the nurturance of another. The Native Americans talk about how vultures will circle what seems like a perfectly healthy animal that will suddenly dropped dead after being followed for many, many hours. Anna Breytenbach talks about a Wolf pack following a herd of deer all day until they singled a fawn out and separated it from the herd. The alpha male stood before the fawn, face to face for several minutes and then walked away bringing the other wolves with him who seemed confused. The tracker she was with explained that it was not the fawn’s time and the alpha male knew that and they went on to hunt again. It seems to me if the herd didn’t fight them bringing this female down, which it would’ve been obvious to them that she was in trouble with these lions, that everyone knew it was her time. Lyall Watson talks about this too. Regardless, this pride of lions is simply amazing. They are really going to have quite an epic life aren’t they? The camaraderie between them is remarkable and their genealogy makes them even more endearing. Thank you for bringing us these amazing tails! (Spelling on purpose 😉

It is so interesting that the rest of the herd did not get involved, but as you say maybe the female buffalo was compromised and the rest of the herd knew that or maybe it just caught them all by surprise. I guess with the more research and observations into this sort of behaviour we will one day have a much clearer idea of the intricacies behind it all.

Senior Digital Ranger

A great deal of research has been done on this. Besides the two South African’s I mentioned you could look up animal communication , trackers and animal behavioralists to learn of more experiences. Such amazing times on Londolozi right now!

These Ntsevu lions are really fantastic hunters.
Do they ever attack rhino? Because there were a few rhinos around while they were watching the buffalos.
I also wonder that the buffalo herd did not realize that one of their own was in such danger. As you said, her windpipe was blocked and so she couldn’t call for help. But still they must have realized that something was wrong, mustn’t they?
In any case a great video and an exciting hunt.

It is not completely out of the question but I think it is such a difficult task to bring one down with how big and powerful they are as well as how thick their necks are, to try and suffocate one would be a challenge. On top of that their skin is so thick and tough that it would be almost impossible to get through to begin feeding.
I was surprised that the rest of the herd didn’t storm in to save one of their own and we can only speculate as to why.

Hi, I know buffalo have a poor sight, surely darkness helped the lions. Maybe the poor female was too weak and the herd knew that? Who knows. I don’t like hunting images in general, and I respect and admire both the Kings and buffalo. They are both fantastic animals with complex mind and behaviour. Images are magnificent, of all animals in the video. Great healthy creatures, and the clash among lions will be terrible. The sister may join the Ntsevu lionesses or maybe the lonely Tsalala? Who knows

I think the darkness would have played a part. And I guess there is a chance that maybe that female was compromised and the herd knew that the battle wasn’t worth it. Anyway I guess we will never really know.
I wonder what the sister will do. It is only a matter of time before the males start to look at her as though she is mating stock now that they are all sexually mature lions. SO this could potentially push her on as she seeks out other male lions to mate with.

Wow, if there is another descriptive word for exhilarating that describes the feeling while witnessing a successful lion hunt, I’d like to know what it is. Just sitting here at home watching your amazing video, I was holding my breath. Terrific filming and commentary by the way. These young Birmingham offspring are truly an amazing coalition and it’s all the more fascinating because they have allowed their sister to remain an active participant. I remember seeing the Southern Pride a few years ago, and that “no longer sub adults” group of siblings was made up of males and females….. I’m hoping the Ntsevu Breakaways continue to be successful with their hunting prowess, and manage to keep away from the other dominant males.

Thank you so much, Denise. It really was such an exciting sighting and watching these lions grow and hone their skills is fascinating. I hope that they stick around for a little longer and we get to see them as large dominant males.

Hi Sean, that was a wonderful and quick kill for the lions. I was expecting a huge come back from the buffalo herd to rescue one of their own being killed by the lions. Never the less it was a phenomenal sighting to see the lions patiently waiting for darkness to come so that it is easier for them to take down a huge buffalo. They are really killing machines these Ntsevu males and one female.

It was so quick, I was so surprised at how swift they were. But I guess that is a good thing for the buffalo.

How wonderful to see the rhinos with the lions (and in no danger). I’m glad this female met the end quickly and didn’t suffer long. These lions are making quite the reputation for themselves!

It was such an amazing sighting of these lions and the rhino. Yes, it was a relief that the buffalo met a quick end.

This group are incredibly formidable hunters Sean! This is another brilliant capture of the growing expertise and prowess of this group of lions!!

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10 April, 2798
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