If it were a joke, it would be funny: What do you get when you cross three hungry lions and an understandably tetchy Rhino? What you get is sheer brutality, and it’s not that funny. In terms of being king of the jungle – or plains for that matter – the lion usually takes the crown. But the rhino, sometimes weighing as much as one ton, endowed with purposely-built thick skin and a killer horn, knows few predators. The worst of which is us, the human, and in second place big cats such as the lion – and that’s if the lion is having a good day!
Take a look at these amazing moments captured by camera when three lions outnumber a solitary rhino. A rhino we might add, who is pregnant, and pissed.
10. Just Minding My Own Business
The story takes place in Etosha National Park, South Africa, where a black rhino in need of a little drink decides to go to the local watering hole. The poor girl seems to be unsteady on her feet, and slips right into the water. Luckily some tourists were nearby to capture this.
9. There’s Somebody Behind Youuuu
While male lions are usually lazy and needlessly aggressive at times with the family, the females do all the hard hunting work. It’s non-stop for the girls in the endless pursuit of flesh, as our struggling rhino is about to find out. You won’t believe how this is going to turn out.
8. I Think We’ll Try The Rhino Steak
Unlike the lion’s distant cousin, the tiger, it usually doesn’t hunt by itself. As one furtive female approaches the rhino, we see in the distance her teammates, each of them hoping to try a bit of a delicacy in rhino steak. We say delicacy, because in the wild it’s usually the lions that end up dead in this encounter.
7. Three On One Is Just Not Fair, Or Is It?
As the rhino tries its best to get back on land, where its body is suited for the art of self-defense, the tourists realize they are about to be witness to one of the most anticipated fights in the wild. The female lions, menacingly equidistant from each other, have the rhino covered from all sides. Turn to the next slide to see the fight progress.
6. It’s Not Funny
It looks like a day at the circus as the humbled rhino slips back into the water each time she attempts to get out. We are not sure how many weeks pregnant she is, but it’s likely the extra weight that she’s carrying is affecting her natural balance. As lions are wont to do, they take their time. An injured lioness can have a devastating effect on the pride.
5. Fight Time!
Throwing caution to the wind, the triad move in for the kill, with the hapless rhino still trying its utmost to get on land where it stands a much better chance of using its weight to break a few ribs or impale one of the women on its horn. Keep clicking to see if the sinking rhino stands a chance with three big cats verily not afraid of the water.
4. Sometimes You Just Need A Bit Of Luck
Just as the lions pounce, the rhino finds its footing and clambers out of the water. Before she can get all four feet on dry land, one of the lions wraps its razor-sharp claws around the rhino’s back. This is not too much of a problem when your skin can be as much as 5cm think.
3. Give Me Your Best, MOFOs
The rhino not only shakes off the lion, but gives it a back-kick to the body. At the same time, in what looks like a double-action move, it attempts to spear another lion with that weapon of mass destruction on its head. The lions now know they are in for a real fight.
2. Payback Time!
The seething rhino kicks-up dust while the three lions, now probably having second thoughts about taking on the mum-to-be, encircle her. In the wild there are a few things you just don’t mess with, one of which is a mother trying to protect its young. See the next slide to see how this all ends.
1. King? More Like Prince…
Sometimes you just have to admit defeat, and even though the lions outnumber the rhino they know full well that this fight is one they are not going to win. Even if they did win, there would certainly be lion blood tainting the victory. Rhino steak might be the most attractive meal on the menu, but it’s one that comes at great expense.
In fact, this lion retreat is common and no doubt was the right move for the felines. There are few cases of lions beating rhinos in combat, and even when lions have been found eating rhino corpses it’s often said the rhino must have been weakened by age, injured, or very young.
You might even say that this encounter is somewhat of a parable, because when it comes down to it, those beautiful beasts called the kings of the jungle are no match for the plodding, usually non-aggressive rhino. We’ve all seen a similar situation on YouTube when an obnoxious bully gets owned by a quiet guy just going about his day. What other animal match-ups do you think would be cool to see? Let us know, and we’ll try to arrange a fight!