- This stunning set of pictures was taken by wildlife photographer and safari tour guide Edward Selfe
- He took them at Zambia’s South Luangwa’s National Park while hoping to spot the pride eating breakfast
There are very few things more annoying than tucking into your breakfast only for an uninvited guest to turn up halfway through.
And this fierce lion certainly made clear his irritation at an unwanted diner intruding on his pride’s feast.
When a younger male was audacious enough to swim across a Zambian lake to try and muscle in on a rival pride’s buffalo kill, his older rival wasn’t willing to give up a mouthful of food and lashed out to protect it.
The stunning set of pictures was taken by wildlife photographer and safari tour guide Edward Selfe.
The member of the feasting pack attacked his younger rival as he brazenly sat by the side of the lake in rival territory.
Despite his initial bravery – he was outnumbered by the males in the rival pack – the lion was sent packing with his tail between his legs and still hungry.
Mr Selfe, originally from south Dorset, managed to capture the altercation between the two lions when he took an early morning trip out to Zambia’s South Luangwa’s National Park hoping to spot the pride eating breakfast.
Edward said: ‘Picking up the sight of vultures dropping onto the ground in the distance, we headed towards them, hoping that perhaps the resident Mwamba Pride had killed something the night before.’
‘Indeed they had – we quickly found all 19 of the pride feeding on a fresh buffalo carcass which they’d killed just an hour earlier.
The pride are well known for preying on buffalo and they have many battle scars to show for it.
Suddenly, while most were feeding, several of the pride stood up and stared intently across the river. We followed their gaze with binoculars and couldn’t see anything initially, but eventually resolved two male lions from a neighbouring pride walking along the top of the opposite river bank.
He added: ‘They appeared interested in the buffalo kill and the females feeding on it.’
But they looked young and we assumed that they were aware of how unevenly matched they would be if they challenged the males with the large pride.
Some of the pride began to call to affirm territorial claim and the young males on the opposite bank lay down, apparently thinking again about approaching. The pride on our side continued to feed.
Soon enough though, one of the young males began to move again and descended the river bank and waded across the river towards us.
This drew considerable attention from the whole pride who stopped feeding and watched his approach carefully. At this point, the intruder was still 400m from the buffalo carcass.
After reaching dry land, the youngster pranced along the bank, feigning indifference at the 19 pairs of eyes glowering at him.’
Mr Selfe and the group of tourists were only about 20 metres away from the feasting pack when one lion broke away and confronted the unwelcome dinner guest.
One of the pride males started to walk towards him, but approaching from behind, apparently stalking the younger lion.
Of course, the youngster was more than aware of his presence but chose to lie still. Barely believing what we were seeing, the young male allowed the larger pride male to stalk right up to him, reacting only when the attacker was almost on top of him.
It was all over in about 10 seconds, but the photos show that it was not merely a ritual – the youngster was rolled on his back and the older male picked up some cuts on his face.’
Date: 16 October 2013