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Lioness slows down fleeing antelope by launching herself on to its back

This is the incredible moment a brave antelope tried to shake off a hungry lioness – by trying to launch her into the air. The beast became the lion’s prime target for dinner, after it ran directly into a hungry pride at the MalaMala game reserve, in South Africa.

When the young lioness finally caught up with the panicking bull, he clearly wasn’t about to give up without a fight – and tried to launch the lion through the air after putting in an almighty buck. But despite getting rid of one lion, the young kudu, a type of antelope, was soon surrounded by a huge group of ravenous lions – and before long was on the menu.

Wildlife photographer Gary Hill captured the incredible sequence on camera while taking pictures at the reserve. Gary said: ‘We were watching a pride of nineteen lions resting on the open banks of the Sand River. ‘Two lionesses left the scene and we lost sight of them heading up the steep river bank.

‘Their intentions were soon revealed when three large kudu bulls were flushed out of the bush some distance upstream. ‘In the panic, one of the bulls selected the wrong escape route. At full speed, he galloped unknowingly toward where the rest of the pride were lying in ambush.

‘We could see the beast steaming in from at least three hundred meters away and had plenty of time to get the cameras ready.’ ‘The suspense was immense as we anticipated what might unfold. When the bull came among the lions, he veered toward the water in an attempt to getaway.

‘One lioness was onto him and the antelope had no chance. ‘She readied herself for the leap, and in one swift motion, she was upon the kudu’s rear. He tried to fight her off but before long, the kudu collapsed.

‘The pride swarmed around the carcass. With this many lions present, the feeding was over after a mere half-hour. ‘Interestingly it was a sub-adult from the pride that executed the takedown which was an impressive feat for a youngster.

‘At one stage, a small breeding herd of elephants came by. At first, it looked as though they would pass without a fuss but without warning some of the members of the herd charged at the lions. ‘This was enough to scatter the lions in every direction. Some young cubs struggled to get away as they treaded in water up to their bellies but eventually they managed to get out of harm’s way.’

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