While you may have imagined for years what it would be like to come face to face with an imposing, stately lion, pursuing unsuspecting prey in his natural habitat, nothing quite prepares you for the bewildering deluge of contradicting emotions that flood through you as the scene unfolds, just steps away. All that stands between you and this massive, powerful beast...is nothing.
My husband, Ryan, and I watched helplessly as an abandoned newborn water buffalo we had just befriended unwittingly, began to cry. His hushed whimpers grew quickly into a loud wail as we tried unsuccessfully to lead him away from the danger we knew was just over the hill, but it was no use. In moments, we spotted first one, and then two male lions, brothers we had just been photographing with their cubs, stride slowly but confidently toward this baby, their piercing eyes intelligently assessing the situation. He never had a chance.
While we were distressed and wished we had been able to save this sweet creature, we couldn't help but marvel at the strength, grace, and prowess of these two male lions. Unable to tear ourselves away, we watched for several more hours as they not only devoured their meal, but also kept the females and their cubs at bay. Only one baby cub was foolish enough to get too close, and he immediately earned his dad's wrath, limping sadly away with nothing to show for his courage. It was an unforgettable experience!