Timely reinforcement: The lion was thrown into the air in the wild buffalo's attempt to rescue its kin

Timely reinforcement: The lion was thrown into the air in the wild buffalo’s attempt to rescue its kin

This is the moment a lion was sent flying when an angry bull raced to the rescue of a vulnerable buffalo.

A pack of four lions had been stalking a herd of buffalo through the Mjejane reserve in South Africa’s Kruger National Park when one hungry lion decided it was time to pounce.

But despite picking on a weak female buffalo, the rest of the herd soon came to her rescue and one angry bull charged at the hungry lion as he went in for the kill – digging in his horns and tossing him high into the air.

 

Angry: Pictures capture the moment a bull throws a lion into the air as it went to help a vulnerable buffalo in South Africa

To the rescue: The herd helped the buffalo to escape as the hungry lion went in for the kill – digging in his horns in

Photographer Conn O’Donoghure, from Johannesburg, South Africa, caught the dramatic scenes on camera.

A series of pictures show the lion being thrown in the air after the beast targeted the buffalo.

Conn, 48, said: ‘We were following the buffalo herd towards the river – the lions were tracking the buffalo.

‘There was a sickly female cow who was lagging behind the herd, and the lions showed interest in her.

‘We thought the lions were too young and expected them to be easily driven off, however the dominant of the brothers had a strong natural instinct and stalked and jumped on the female buffalo.

‘The second lion tried to look for an opening for the death blow to the throat, when another female buffalo started bellowing loudly and calling reinforcement from the bulls.

Dinner: A pack of lions had been stalking a herd of buffalo through the Mjejane reserve in South Africa’s Kruger National Park when one hungry lion (pictured) decided it was time to pounce

Captured: Photographer Conn O’Donoghure, from Johannesburg, South Africa, caught the dramatic scenes on camera, including the moment the lion went in for the attack

Crushed: The defeated lions walk away hungry after being chased away from a herd of buffaloes when they tried to attack

‘The lions had now brought the old female down, and we thought the inevitable would happen.

‘But the bull ran right in and dug his horns under the young lion and tossed him in the air – twice.

‘We thought he would be fatally injured but he bounced back, gathered himself and the two lions actually stalked the big bull a while later.

‘It was a fantastic experience and see it all right in front of us was amazing – it’s definitely an experience to remember.

 

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