The lions already killed a young buffalo male in the bed of the ruaha river, it is the bushbuck pride, the most powerful pride of the area. The calf is big but not enough for 20 and more lions and the herd is not far. Thay are still drinking around 200 meters downstream. A young male and three females start moving towards them. Is not easy to see them while they are stalking in the tall common reeds. The buffalos are slowly crossing the river just in front of an upset hippo that sometimes gives them a fright causing havoc.
The lions attack a first time targeting the rear of a split of the herd, the buffalos fend them off easily and cross but there is still a small number of buffalos that are cut from the main herd. They try to rush down the bank, the lions attack again, a young male grabs a cub but got smashed away by the cow.
The buffs run in the water, the calf struggles in the deep and the lions jump in just to get bounced back by the soldiers, the big bulls are fighting for the herd.
They all cross and the lions do not know what to do, the bulls keep charghing them and they give up, slowly heading back towards the first kill.
We move as well and we got to see the rest of the pride eating for few minutes when with the corner of the left eye I see a lioness running the opposite direction through the reeds again.
I reverse as fast as possible and get the other side of the small hill that now separate the herd from the first kill.
And here they are, lions are attacking again, a bull was left behind and the lions are on it. More and more come, the fight is titanic, the buff is strong and does not give up to his fate. He drags the lions back and forth while they jump on his back and they stay clear of the horns.
As more cats come one lioness grabs the muzzle of the bull, the bull goes down and we think it’s finished. They have him, the females from the front and the young male from the tail
We think is the end but he does not think the same, he stands with enormous will, the lioness still trying to suffocate him, he trashes her around till she looses the grip and is flown 2 meters away. The fight starts all over again at full power, but with time passing the buffalo is more and more tired. his bellowing is thundering through the dusty air. Lions are tired too, some lay down resting but others are still at work, the cries of the bull become moe acute. He is bleeding from the nose and from the back but still tries to struggle for life, charging lions and trashing its head around.
More lions jump on its back, the legs start flexing, the bull’s body is swerving side to side but he still tries to break free. It is unbelievable how much fight there is in this bull
Eventually he cannot hold it anymore, you almost can read in his eyes that the fight is over and he is on the loosing end. And then he collapses under the weight of the cats, his legs not able to cope with that anymore.
It is all over, a great fighter is gone for good, he will feed the pride and by them will be soon forgotten… but not by us