Lions are notorious predators and few animals instinctively approach them when approached. For the most part, other animals know to keep their distance from lions, especially when more than one lion is present.
The video begins with a male lion crouching on the dirt in front of a watering hole. He can be seen licking up muddy water before the camera cuts to his female counterpart, and he can also be seen crouching down and licking up some water.
Both male and female lions have blood on their jaws; they may have decided to rehydrate after the kill. When the male lion continued to drink water, the camera panned back to the male lion. Suddenly, you could see something small in the water moving in front of him.
As it gets closer, you can see the turtle’s back and head out of the water. It’s about the size of a lion’s front paw. The tortoise fearlessly approached the lion and collided with his mouth. The tortoise seemed to be chasing the lion’s jaw – although the lion got a little impatient, he continued to lick the water.
Realizing that the lion wasn’t following the cue, the tortoise swam more aggressively to the lion’s mouth this time. The lion stood up and moved to another part of the waterhole to continue drinking.
The next scene is similar. However, this time the camera was aimed at the lioness. She spotted the turtle faster than the lion, but continued to drink. It’s clear she doesn’t see this as a threat.
As she kept drinking, the brave little turtle kept swimming in front of her mouth, making waves in her mouth as she licked the water with her tongue. The waves pushed the turtle away, but it swam firmly towards the lioness.
Next, we return to the lion. He found another place to drink, but the turtle decided to tell him once more that he was not welcome at its watering hole.
This time, the tortoise reached forward and put its hand on the lion’s jaw, and when the lion stood up and started to leave, the tortoise came ashore and chased it down the dirt road.
So far, the tortoise has been unsuccessful in getting the lioness to stop licking. The turtle came back to her and they were face to face. The lioness licked her lips and at the same time licked the little turtle with her tongue. The turtle quickly retracted its body into the water.
However, the tortoise held its ground. The tortoise approaches the male lion one last time; the lion can be seen drinking again at another location. You can see him eyeing the turtle suspiciously, trying to get as much water as possible before the turtle gets close to him.
Finally, the male lion stands up and can be seen panting heavily with water dripping down his chin. He walks away, out of view of the camera.
That’s an impressive sense of security for that little turtle. The entire film maintains the aura of a domineering president!
Next, check out other brave encounters:
Watch the world’s bravest dog chase a polar bear
This bold elephant inadvertently stole sugar cane straight from the truck!
Watch elephants fight crocodiles to the death
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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