20. A Mother’s Story
A mother will go to the ends of the earth to protect her children. That’s especially true with the mother giraffe showcased in the now viral video, where she tries to defend her young calf from dangerous and hungry wild lions.
19. Fending off Predators
On the day this video was taken, the Mother giraffe and her baby were living a normal day on a wildlife reserve in South Africa. The reserve was there so that animals like the giraffe could be watched over by rangers in case they fall victim to an illegal poacher or worse… a hungry lion.
18. Out with Her Young
But unfortunately for the pair, this was not an average day. They were in great danger and there were no rangers around to help them. The lions crept up on them, slowly positioning herself for the kill.
17. The Chase is On
As the hungry lions came closing in on the pair, the mother tried to save the calf – but ultimately failed. She had to watch as her baby was savagely attacked. Although this was a worst-case scenario, the mother didn’t give up.
16. Little One Down
What came next was absolutely terrible. The Lions had managed to strike down the baby giraffe right in front of its own mother. She frantically looked around for help.
15. Lion’s Strike
The baby giraffe was down and badly injured. The hungry lions then dragged the calf into some bushes, where they ate it right in front of the helpless mother giraffe.
This is the way of life in nature, but it doesn’t make it any easier to handle. The mother then displayed her signs of grief, and it was heartbreaking to watch.
14. The Mother’s Pain
This heartbreaking moment where a mother giraffe was forced to watch her baby being eaten by lions was caught on the nature reserve cameras and went viral. They violently tore through the flesh of her baby, while she helplessly watched in horror.
The rangers rushed to the site, hoping it wasn’t too late.
13. A Heartbreaking Discovery
The Rangers were alerted to the horrific events but they were too late and came upon the heartbreaking discovery after the fact. The mother attempted to stop the lions, but she was no match for the giant cats. Tarryn Rae, a field guide for Mankwe Gametrackers at the reserve told The Daily Mail: ‘I was informed that lions had attacked a baby giraffe with a broken leg, but the mother giraffe had chased them off.”
Was this a lone incident of a mother defending her young? Or is this more common than we think?
12. The Course of Nature
Any mother would stick their neck out to defend a child, regardless of the species. In a study conducted in Kruger National Park by journalists at Wild Card Online, we see a mother giraffe goes beyond the call of duty for her child, taking on an entire pride of lions – and winning.
11. Predator and Prey
During a study conducted by Wild Card Online at the Olare Conservancy in the Masai Mara reserve, in Kenya, a pack of hungry lions were caught on camera. These lions approached the mother and her young but this time, with a swift hoof to the jaw, the mother defended her young from the lions.
The following acts stunned scientists watching as they couldn’t believe how she was claiming her victory.
10. Hunting Habits
Dr. Francois Deacon, a lecturer at the University of the Free State’s Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Science, was interviewed by Wild Card Online and describes the sighting as incredibly interesting. “I have taken photos of many instances where lions patiently wait at waterholes to hunt. But when giraffes are present, they show very little to no interest.” Thanks to their sheer size and powerful kick, giraffes can overpower most predators.
Another incident of a mother giraffe viciously engaged in battle with a lioness was witnessed again by scientists.
9. Stalking Its Prey
The Kruger National Park’s Leeupan is a waterhole where the unexpected has been known to happen according to researchers on site for Wildcard Online. On 21 July 2017, a solitary lioness was on the prowl. She settled in and her sights on an adult giraffe and two calves.
What happened next was unexpected and the images perfectly depict the battle.
8. Preparing to Kill
According to the WildCard Online article: Wild Card travelers Anja and Riaan Kruger were caught completely unaware when the lion pounced. “Everything happened so fast. We had never witnessed a giraffe kill before. At first, we did not even notice the lion. There was so much wildlife around, all grazing peacefully. We had no idea what was about to happen,” says Anja.
The next image is a detailed account of how the lioness attacked the baby.
7. A Mother’s Defense
Within seconds, the lioness makes a leap for it. Feet completely off the ground, the lioness is determined to still her hunger. Just when everyone thought it was over, the frightening incident took a different turn.
6. Another Casualty
“The adult giraffe and remaining calf stood in silence a few metres away. At no point did they approach the lioness to try and save the calf. After 20 long minutes, the lioness had finally suffocated the calf and started to move her kill to a secure location.”
5. Casual Casualties
The act of a hungry lion or lioness striking down a baby giraffe is actually quite common, even in protected nature reserves. But it is interesting to see the differences in how the preditor reacts to the mother defending it’s young depending on the situation and setting of the situation.
This type of behavior suggests that each individual animal has its own set of morals and will to fight.
4. Common Place or Crazy
Researchers from Wildcard Online shed some light on an interesting topic, are these differences commonplace? Or are these instances one-of-a-kind acts of bravery when the mother wins.
3. Life in Motion
It seems to come down to a bit of a balancing act between life and death. Winning and losing. Sometimes depending on circumstances, the mother is successful, and other times life takes its course and she is not.
2. The Circle of Life
This can all be chalked up to the circle of life and the way all living things coexist within the same environment as one another. The giraffes and the lions have different needs, and sometimes those needs work against each other and sometimes they don’t. That seems to just be natural.
Overall there is not much that can stand in the way of the circle of life and the will of nature itself. But the working systems in place to preserve wildlife on these reservations is still effective against other threats.