When it happened, it happened fast. The zebra foal got separated from the herd in the chaos caused by five lionesses charging unexpectedly from their hiding places. It got caught and killed quickly by one of the big cats.
Whilst the lioness stood next to her prey, still panting heavily from the sprint, the three pride males, that had merely watched the females’ hunting efforts, came running in fast & furiously and took the kill away from under her nose.
A cloud of white dust then obscured most of the action, but the growls and snarls told me that this was a fierce struggle amongst the big males – usually being ‘best buddies’ (see photo above).
Much pulling and tugging went on until the body simply tore and one lion broke away with half of the foal (see photo above). He devoured the kill greedily with a few bites at a safe distance, while the other two male lions continued their struggle (see photo below).
Gradually tiring in the warm midday sun, their tugging became weaker and weaker. Eventually both lions lay down, still holding on to the zebra and snarling softly now and then.
Finally one of them gave up. He left the tiny piece of meat – no more than a mouthful to a large predator – to his rival and joined the lionesses.
The females, the actual hunters, had been resting in the shade, stoically watching their pride males’ vicious fight over their prey animal.
With 'wild' greetings,
Claudia & Wynand du Plessis
NAMIBIA WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS