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Lionesses hunting zebra
Note : these pictures may hurt people sensibility !

Taking advice from our guide, we woke up early on this September 13 and went at dawn when animals are very active hunting and grazing in the park. After a sunrise Game drive very rich in wildlife encounterings -hyenas, gazelles, hartebeests, topis, a cheetah family in the middle of the golden plains and two secretary birds wearing short pants-, we had breakfast at the picnic point overlooking the Serengeti plains. This moment of silence we shared with our guide, in this outstanding environment, all of our senses in alert, is unforgettable. Later on drive to Southern Seronera.
Wildlife watching : an hippo grazing not far from a river, lions cubs not woken up yet, giraffes, elephants, etc.

We were looking for the leopard seen the day before, when our attention was attracted by a lioness with tensed muscles, head down, which seemed to be alone in the yellow and dry grass.

Stopping immediatly and watching carefully, we noticed a group of about fifteen lionesses crouching in front of a grove, all of them looking in the same direction. Our guide the first, saw the herd of zebras heading for our side. With the feeling of an intense moment to live, with only our binoculars and cameras as weapons, the vehicle stopped on the trail, we were as stressed as the lionesses because we understood that they got ready to attack. Only zebras seemed to be heedless of danger, grazing and leaping about.

At this time the first lioness headed for north, and another one for opposite direction in order to bring back zebras towards the female group. Understanding the danger too late, panic in the herd of zebras and the most unlucky Ėor the less experienced- was isolated quickly.

The lioness catched the prey from behind to get it unsteady,

the second one jumped over its rump.

The strength of the zebra -feeling no hope left- seemed to be increased, so a third one had to come

and help to get it to the ground and to kill it.

All the lionesses hurried then to have fresh lunch. There wasnít any dominant male in this group, so females came first, and later the cubs drawing near shyly could take part in the feast. We could witness the respect of the group hierarchy.

I canít tell how long was this upsetting moment but the most hard-hearted thing was to hear the neighing of fear, panic and pain of the unfortunate zebra. This hunting scene was the most impressive moment of our safari, but quickly we became aware that it was a wildlife moment, more exactly the nature law.

This memory and these pictures helped us to relate this so intense moment we shared with our guide.

Extract of travel book hlfv 2nd safari to Tanzania.


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