Lions hunt primarily at night because the cover of darkness allows them to more readily watch and pursue their prey without fear of being seen. The behavior of lions sitting and watching their prey during the day, generally right before nightfall, is actually extremely common. However, they typically wait until after dusk to strike.

Unfortunately for this buffalo bull, these lions didn’t wait until nightfall to attack. A video from Savanna Private Game Reserve shows just how intense it is a pride of lions hunting can be for the prey. 

Lions rely on their vision more than anything else to aid in their hunting. Researchers have seen people creeping beneath vegetation, sometimes poking their heads high above the vegetation to keep an eye on a creature they may be stalking. But occasionally they unintentionally reveal themselves while doing so.

Coming in at nearly 2,000 pounds with massive, powerful horns, you’d think a buffalo bull would have an upper hand over a lion; and they do. What they don’t have is a defense against an entire pride.

buffalo
Even apex predators like lions can’t overpower an entire buffalo herd.

©Peter Betts/Shutterstock.com

Another notable disadvantage that lions have in comparison to other predators is their lack of speed, which is also compensated for by collaborative hunting. Of course, by human standards, these powerful beasts are far from slow; their maximum speed is at about miles per hour, but they can barely maintain it for around a minute. 

They hardly ever chase prey for more than 300 feet, in fact. Working together, they can take on prey that would be too quick or cunning for them to catch alone.

Outwit and Outsmart the Prey

When lions kill an animal that is too big for them to eat alone, they also benefit from cooperative hunting in another way. A pride can consume food as a whole without having to worry about storing or guarding it, which increases the amount of food that is available to more mouths at once.

Believe it or not, a pride of lions will usually only take on a single bull. The one in this video isn’t alone and both he and the other beast hiding in the brush attempt a run for their lives. They attempt to scare off the lions with their powerful horns, but soon realize they’re outnumbered. 

A comment on the video shows how evolution aids apex predators to this day. It reads, “Looking at these lions, I can roughly imagine how saber-toothed cats hunted. As far as I know, they also hunted in groups, like modern lions, so they could kill almost anyone, from bison to young mammoths”

Check out the incredible footage below! 

Up Next 

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Leave a comment