Lion climbs tree to escape herd of buffalo in Kenya
Lion climbs tree to escape herd of buffalo in Kenya as the king of the jungle is left with his tail between his legs. Remarkable pictures have shown a lion making a desperate bid to avoid being trampled by scrambling up a tree. Below him the group of angry buffalo waits as he slowly begins to lose his grip and slide down the tree trunk
But with a terrified snarl the cowardly lion managed to escape by leaping onto the grass and running to safety. Despite retreating to the unusual safety zone the danger wasn’t quite over as the buffalo – prone to trampling – gathered under the tree to wait for the lion to fall.
Charles Comyn, a 63-year-old ex-army official, was exploring the stunning Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya with his wife when he stumbled across the incredible scene. When the lion sprung from its hiding place and quickly scaled the tree to avoid being trampled by the angry buffalo
But as they remained below the tree waiting for the lion to come down, it started slipping towards the ground. The lion had been hiding in the grass in what witnesses suspected was an attempt to hunt a baby buffalo. However, it didn’t anticipate the fierce reaction it would receive from the adults guarding the newborn.
The pair were on the last safari of their holiday but said they had no inkling that their lasting memory was yet to come. Together with their experienced guide the couple parked next to a herd of buffalo who were carefully guarding a new-born calf.
But the animals – known for unpredictable behaviour – suddenly became nervous. Mr Comyn said: ‘All of a sudden, literally out of nowhere, a male lion sprang out from his hiding place hightailing for a nearby tree with the buffalo now starting to give chase. ‘It didn’t take long before the lion had scrambled up the tree, fearing for its life.
‘The marauding buffalo circled below, smelling the lion. They were not going to let it get away.’
The herd had realised the lion was stalking the young buffalo and weren’t about to give it a lucky escape, he said. But after a few seconds of clinging onto the tree the cowering lion became to tremble and tire and started to slide down the bark. After it fell from the tree trunk, the lion wasted no time speeding away across the savannah.
Photographer Charles Comyn said the lion appeared to be ‘doomed’ prior to making his quick getaway
Out of desperation the big cat let out a snarl and suddenly leapt from the tree, ran towards Mr Comyn’s jeep and disappeared into the bush.
Mr Comyn said: ‘It was a hair-tingling moment. The lion could not hang for long – one could really sense that he was almost doomed – so he had to make another attempt to flee.
‘Very quickly the buffalo resumed their early morning grazing. It was only then that we spotted the newly born calf in the middle of the herd, which they obviously had been protecting from the lion who possibly had spotted a potential light breakfast.
‘What a magical, unforgettable, and as we later learnt, unheard of occurrence.’
By COREY CHARLTON