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Lioness in the open plain in Africa surrounded by her quirky offspring!
The morning is cold and I put my beanie closer into my face and pull up the collar of my jacket. As I close my eyes to protect them for the harsh airflow rushing over the open Land Rover while we drive over the vast open space of the central Mara, my thoughts drift away to my family at home. My wife and kids probably still asleep in our warm and comfortable bed.
Sometime later, we catch up with the Marsh Pride living on the east side of the Mara River, south of the Mushara Marsh.
They have just finished on their Zebra kill. The Marsh Pride is one of the biggest lion prides in the Mara who are feared by most animals on this side of the river.
They lie around their kill panting and exhausted with filled tummies and almost to lame to move on to find a hiding spot for the day.
It is a beautiful large pride with lots of cubs this spring. The few days we shared with them feel like weeks already. The leader of the pack, an old lion, looks worn out and you can see that many fights left its traces over the years. His one eye is badly affected. He lies exalted in the distance of the pack.
Some hyenas are already lurking around and circling closer and closer towards the lions and their kill, hoping to get their part of the prey soon. But they cannot wait and begin teasing some of the lions. The back and forth fumbling by them creates turmoil within the pride.
Suddenly, and totally unexpected for everyone involved or watching, the leader of the pack jumps up and runs after the hyena. After a few meters, the hyena traps in one of the many mud holes. The old lion gets onto her and bites her badly. She lies still.
That was such a shock for the other scavengers that they bagger off in safe distance.
While the old lion rests down again and the pride peacefully interacts with each other, the lion cubs start exploring the immovable hyena. They get so confident even playing with its body.
After about five to eight minutes the hyena un-expectantly gets up and goes for one of the little cubs. I get goose bumps all over. This is incredible. This was unique!
Now the old lion “sees red “ and once more skyrockets up, runs off and when he gets the hyena he literally tears her to pieces.
In the meanwhile the young offspring already found shelter by their mothers and look terrified.
Still shaken from this shock they get up to zip at the little water puddle close by our car, not leaving their guardians site.
After I have taken a couple of shots, I sink back into my seat. Feeling totally exhausted myself. What an incredible encounter.
I hope to bring you closer this amazing memory I have captured on this special day.