“Play patiently”: The gazelle returned to fight with the lion's empty stomach and its courage was rewarded.

“Play patiently”: The gazelle returned to fight with the lion’s empty stomach and its courage was rewarded.

A lioness and a lechwe lock eyes, their noses almost touching. The stalemate holds. Who will make the first move?

A lioness and a lechwe lock eyes, their noses almost touching. In the Botswana floodplains, the stalemate holds. Who will make the first move?

Witnesses saw this incredible sighting in the Great Plains Concession in Botswana. They shared the story and footage with LatestSightings.com

Lions are known for their predatory skills and their hunting prowess. Witnessing a lion hunt is most definitely special and unique. However, it is not unheard of. Now, a sighting of a lion hunting in water becomes a little rarer.

“In the floodplains of Botswana, the lions hunt a variety of prey, including buffalo, wildebeest, and various antelope species. However, one of their favorites is the lechwe. We located the resident lion pride lazing along a channel on this particular day. The lions had noticeably empty bellies.”

The flooded grasslands, channels, and islands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta host a well-adapted type of antelope known as lechwe. The lechwe is a fast and agile animal, making it a challenging target for lions. So, despite the large number of lechwe on the Botswana floodplains, lions do not often find success when pursuing these antelope.

The standoff between predator and prey!

“The lions had been lazing around for several hours when one of the lionesses picked up movement in the foreground. A few lechwes were crossing the channel and heading directly toward the lions. We waited in anticipation. The lechwes were getting closer and closer. Just as the lechwes were about to hit land, they picked up the presence of the lions and made a turn.”

“At this point, the lions were already poised and ready, determined not to let this opportunity pass them by. They gave chase through the water: water everywhere and a frenzy of lechwe. The lions isolated a male lechwe and pursued him. Cornered – with a deep river on one side and a dense bank on the other, he had nowhere to go as they forced him into a dead end.”

Download the Latest Sightings app for updates on wildlife sightings

“The lechwe played the patience game. Every time the lioness moved closer, he would stand his ground and display aggression. As the lioness became distracted for a split second, it was all the lechwe needed to escape, using the opportunity to create enough time and space to get away. Defeated and somewhat humiliated, the lioness looked on as the lechwe ran off.”

In the end, the standoff between the lioness and the male lechwe is just one chapter in the ongoing cycle of life and death in the floodplains of Botswana. The lions will continue to hunt, and the lechwe will continue to fight for their survival in a constant battle that has been playing out for thousands of years.


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