Help is on the way! It’s a striking example of social animals working together to repel predators. It shows a male buffalo scaring off several lions to help a female herd member. What a heartwarming thing!
Lions are large and powerful carnivores. They are also highly social animals, living in groups called prides. These consist mainly of females and their offspring, but there are also one or two males who have mating rights in the pride and defend the territory.
By working as a team, prides of lions can hunt animals larger than themselves. They will take on buffalo, giraffe and antelope. Once the animal is captured, the female usually lets the male eat first, but the cubs must wait to eat what the adult lions left behind.
Lions are seen as a threat by many species and they will do their best to injure a lion to avoid it. Capturing buffalo is not a risk-free activity for lions!
At the beginning of the clip, we see the male buffalo striding towards the female who is pinned to the ground by three lionesses. As he approached, two lionesses backed away, but the third stayed put. It looks like she’s beating a buffalo that grunts in pain. Some other members of the herd approached, but they didn’t get too close.
In the end, all three lions were forced to retreat, and the female buffalo could only struggle to stand up. However, she appeared injured and limped away. The adult male buffalo is a formidable foe. They weigh about 1,600 pounds and are 7 feet long. They have sharp horns and can run at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour. The lions had apparently decided they were at risk of injury if they stayed where they were. Buffalo like to gather in large herds, which can consist of 50 to 500 members. This keeps them safe from predators, and it is not uncommon for herd members to protect each other.
However, the female buffalo appeared weak and bruised. Lions are aware of this, and they don’t seem eager to let the buffalo go. They may be waiting until they have another chance to attack.
Watch a pride of 18 lions attack rhinos, zebras and buffalo
Watch rhinos pit lions against each other in dramatic confrontation
Watch a cornered crocodile fight five grown lions
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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