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Monday, 11 June 2012

Lion vs. Crocodile

Location: Mombo Camp, Chief’s Island, Botswana
Date: 8 June 2012
Observers: Matthew Copham and Pia Dierickx
Photographs: Pia Dierickx

As a safari guide in the Okavango Delta, I was on a game drive with photographer Pia Dierickx when we came across a pride of 18 lions heading purposefully towards vultures on a carcass on the far side of a shallow channel. Lions in this aquatic landscape regularly swim or wade through water, but do so carefully: a small crocodile could be food but a large one could be dangerous – and both species know it.

On this occasion, two of the lionesses walked straight into the channel, their eyes on the vultures. The first did not see the lurking crocodile and although the second did, she continued after her companion. Swiftly the crocodile moved into the deeper water ahead of the second lioness and sprang the trap. Although over in a second, the action was captured by Pia’s camera…

In the end, the reptile was sent swimming into the deepest part of the channel while the lion was sent scuffling away on dry ground with a battered face and bruised ego.

by Matthew Copham

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