There are quite a few images here, that I could have cut it down. But to share a 40 minutes episode without even 20+ images wasn't doing justice to me. Here is a first person account of the first LIVE KILL I have witnessed end to end. The best part is there was a story and not just the prey and predator. Here we go!
A lioness with here cub was spotted by our driver and we positioned ourself to take head on shots. Little did we know that she was approaching head on because there was a water body behind our vehicle. Lioness went for a water but the puddle had more to offer! A STUCK WILDEBEEST.
The lioness focuses on the wildebeest. The cubs were on her left heading to the mound nearby.
The wildebeest interests the cubs as well as they get on to the mound and inspect the prey.
The mom then takes them for a drink of water without a wild pursuit. Why?
The mom is even more cautious. What is she afraid of? Why this stance? There is something moving apart from the wildebeest in the pond - a HIPPO.
Presence of the lioness and her cubs got the HIPPO at unrest and quickly the lioness moved her cubs a distance. In this picture you can see all the actors on stage! (spot the second cub!)
The hippo gets now curious on the stuck wildebeest (didn't it see it all this time!)
The moment the hippo moves the mom and cubs move away - keeping safe distance as they don’t want any conflict with this rock.
Hippo is curious and gets closer to smell and even closer to push the wildebeest. Alas its of no interest and moves away from the puddle.
This is the moment the lioness was waiting. She makes the move…
She gets to the stuck wildebeest and tries to move her. She is STUCK!
The only option is to get inside and the lioness does just that to get close to the prey
After a struggle to move the wildebeest to get to its throat the lioness gets into her position to hold the prey by its throat.
Now the cubs so far curious and away watch the game from close quarters.
Mom has done it - gets the prey out the first time from the slush. Gosh it was an effort and sheer display of power!
Another final pull to get the last limb out.
The prey is now out. Mom waits for a while to gather her breath. She has just a few minutes to finish what she started.
One drag to the land.
One final drag to lay it on the land.
Laying the final body done. It was only at this moment I realised that the prey was no more ALIVE!
The cubs had been running around and the mom calls for them.
She senses the taste!
Cubs come rocking and rolling. I realised they cherished the prey as a play toy that a thing for hunger!
Momma allows them to try their had and what they can get - Ear, horns…
Finally I found the truth. Cubs had to drink their milk. Momma had to end the struggling life of the wildebeest in the stuck swamp.
After all did she do good by bringing quick death to an otherwise painfully slow process for the prey! Because the prey was never eaten…