24 Mar 2011 The brave giraffe
One morning we saw two giraffes – an adult cow and her calf – racing down the road with three lions hot on their heels. It was obvious that the lions had their sights firmly set on the calf, which was about a month old.
Shortly after they ran past us, the trio gave up the chase and went to lie down on the road to catch their breath. Suddenly the adult giraffe came out of the bushes and had a go at one of the lionesses. It’s not often that you see a giraffe taking a stand against a lion, but this determined mother was obviously intent on protecting her young calf.
With her head lowered, the giraffe was literally ‘screaming’ at the lioness in a bid to scare her off. The lioness – who was still young and inexperienced – just hunched into herself and looked up at the irate female, waiting in vain for the right moment to attack.
That was clearly never going to happen though, as the risk of getting a hard kick from the long-legged herbivore was just too great. This method of defence eventually worked in the giraffe’s favour, as the lion slunk off to find back-up. With the troops rallied, the lions tried a few more times to chase down the extraordinarily brave giraffe, but time and again their efforts came up short.
In the end the exhausted hunters admitted defeat and settled down under a tree to rest. We took advantage of the photo opportunity, and then left the miserable lions to commiserate over their lost opportunity. It’s sightings like these that serve to remind us just how remarkable nature is.
See you on drive,
The Camp Jabulani Rangers 😉