Being able to watch a pride of lions hunting is not an everyday occurrence. Recently we received a call about a pride of lions hunting a baby giraffe. Luckily it wasn’t too far from camp so we grabbed our cameras and jumped in the car. After a quick radio call to locate them we turned off-road and headed to the scene.
Lions hunting a baby giraffe
As you can see the mother put up a good fight. The actual hunt lasted a lot longer than the video. It took around 25 minutes for the lions to coordinate their attack and get close enough to succeed.
Circle of life
As heartbreaking as this was to watch, this is the reality of life in the bush. All animals have to eat and for lions to eat unfortunately another animal has to die.
The fact is that a baby giraffe isn’t a big meal for that many lions and so they will have to hunt again soon to feed their hunger.
Photographing the scene
When photographing emotional scenes like this it is important to get a variety of angles. Close up allow you to capture the gory details and really feel like you are in on the action.
Wider angle shots allow you to take in the whole scene. In this shot, you can see one of the dominant females resting off to the side. This is because she ate first, she got the lion’s share of the meal and now she is letting the others eat. This scene helps to show the complexities of relationships within the pride and gives you a deeper understanding of the social structure of a pride.
When the lions had finished feasting they approached the car for shade. The car was the only shade around as Lewa Wildlife conservancy has very few trees. The adolescent lions didn’t hesitate when approaching the car and were literally inches away from us as they lay against the side of the car.
The adult lioness, however, was much more hesitant and although you could see she really wanted the shade, she felt too uncomfortable coming that close. Eventually, she had enough of the heat and walked off in search of a tree for shade.
A truly amazing experince
As I said before, it is not often you get to see lions on a hunt. Watching these lions hunting a baby giraffe was heart-wrenching and spectacular at the same time. What made it even more special was the fact that there were only 2 vehicles at the whole scene.
In some National parks and conservancies, this is very unlikely and you end up being one of 10 or even 20 cars around the scene. For more info about Lewa read; When elephants visited Lewa safari camp. Or to find other places to visit read; 5 must-see places to visit in northern Kenya.
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Have you witnessed a lion kill? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments below.
If you would like to purchase any of these photos as fine art photographic prints then please contact me to let me know which one. You can also check out the prints already available in my online store.