Written by: Johan Pretorius
A friend and I visited Mankwe Dam in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa, where I had the privilege of observing and filming my first ever lion kill. And what a special sighting it was!
On our early morning drive towards the dam we spotted the lioness stalking some zebra and wildebeest. We followed her for about half an hour as she stalked her prey and paused every so often.
We could see that she must be nurturing some cubs as her nipples were protruding. We suspected that she was in need of some quality food to nourish her cubs, so we decided to follow her movements patiently without disturbing her.
After about half an hour she went into the tall grass and took up position quite close to the game.
I started filming as the impala began to run past her, as they must have picked up her scent. The wildebeest followed suit, but as soon as the zebra started to run, she gave chase and zoned in on a heavily pregnant female zebra. She took her down in a rugby tackle-like manner.
One of the foals in the herd even took a tumble right over the big female just as she went down, but the youngster got up again and luckily managed to get away. Predator and prey then struggled in the shallow waters of the dam until the zebra grew tired. She got up just to be brought back down by the firm grip of the lioness on her throat. The whole time she was calling out and making panic noises as the certainty of death closed in on her, and this went on for some time until everything went quiet. We found out later that day that the lioness opened up the dead female zebra and took out a foal.
Watch the video of the action here: