Male Lion Viciously Attacked By Lionesses In Front Of Shocked Tourists
Lions truly are majestic creatures. Often referred to as being the top of the food chain or as "king(s) of the jungle", there are few animals that surpass their strength and dominance. In fact, a lion's roar, usually heard after sunset, can even be detected from as far as five miles away. This alone is enough to deter outside threats from messing with a lion's pride.
And their reputation as creatures who are revered in the Animal Kingdom, even by their own prey, was immortalized in the 1994 hit movie The Lion King. From the outset, King Mufasa is portrayed as a benevolent leader who reasons that all animals should be respected because we are all "connected in the great Circle of Life". And just in case you didn't believe his loving approach to all animals, his best friend and advisor is an actual monkey, for goodness sake!
In reality, however, it is not in a lion's nature to regard their fellow animals in such a loving and respectful way - they are apex predators, after all. It goes without saying, but lions are instinctively driven to kill for their own benefit. They are extremely dangerous, which is why they're one of the most feared creatures in the animal kingdom.
Usually, these predators kill for meat - in other words, to ensure their own survival. But sometimes, ensuring their own survival means turning on their fellow lion. In fact, one video has been receiving a great deal of attention recently for capturing a group of lions attacking one of their own in a very savage and brutal manner.
And while you may be thinking along the lines of a male lion lashing out at another male in order to defend his territory, this video features a very merciless female-on-male attack:
Watch the distressing scenes as they unfolded in the video below:
The gripping footage shows a group of fierce lionesses uniting to attack the male member of their pride in what looks like an attempt to end his life. Visitors at West Midlands Safari Park in Worcestershire, England, watched the vicious attack in utter disbelief.
They observed as the ferocious females pounced on the lion, known as Jilani, and proceeded to sink their teeth into his flesh causing him to bleed. Jilani's attackers then dragged him from the rocks and into the water where he was even more vulnerable than before.
The lion, who was heavily outnumbered, is clearly in a great deal of pain. His eyes widen in sheer terror and his roar - once a sign of power and status now just highlights his suffering.
The distressing footage was caught on camera by 19-year-old amateur photographer Mya Beverstock, who went to the safari park with her parents on 5 September. At about 11:45 am, the family witnessed the ruthless lionesses surrounding the male, then pouncing on him in a seemingly unprovoked attack.
"I decided to go to the safari park with my mum and dad to take some pictures of the lions," Mya said. "We had been sat there for a few minutes when we noticed these two male lions sitting on top a rock growling at something down below."
"We drove around a little bit and I noticed these female lionesses surrounding a male. All of a sudden they just pounced," she continued. "They were biting at his back legs and his neck and pinning him to the ground, it looked really vicious and you can see in his eyes he thought he was going to die."
Keepers at the park rushed to the scene of the attack and had no option but to use fire extinguishers to put a stop to it.
"Within a flash, safari jeeps were there surrounding the lionesses. There were three vehicles, one was honking its horn while another sprayed an extinguisher," Mya continued. "There could be any number of reasons why they were attacking him. It could be that they thought he was too old to be their leader or it could have been over food."
"He could have tried it on with one of the females, who knows, but they looked angry and pounced as if they are going in for the kill. It was incredible to watch the king of the jungle looking so vulnerable. In the photos, you can see him almost pleading for help."
Although the lion managed to survive the savage attack, he had very sore marks and cuts on his leg.
"You could see car windows going up and almost hear doors locking as it happened, it was just really intense to watch and listen to the roars," Mya said.
Mya also explained that she and her family went back to the scene of the attack later in the day and the lions were nowhere to be seen. With the intention of protecting the three males in the pride, the keepers had ushered the females indoors.
"It was quite an experience which really took your breath away," Mya recalled. "I never expected to see anything like that. You could see the terror in his eyes."
Initially, no reason as to why the lionesses lashed out at the lion was identified. It was suggested, however, that the lionesses deemed the male too old and thus no longer a suitable ruler for their pride. However, the park has now clarified the fight broke out due to the distribution of meat.
As of now, Jilani and his brothers are "resting" away from the females, according to the park. A spokesperson for the park also explained that he was medically examined by a vet and given pain relief.
Jilani and his two brothers usually combine forces in order to keep the lionesses in check, but in this particular instance, the other females turned on the lion first.
A spokesperson at the safari park explained that the lion is doing much better and is being kept under close inspection from the keepers:
"Our experienced keepers were immediately on the scene and split up the fight. Jilani has been checked over by our vet and apart from being a bit stiff and sore, he has not sustained any serious injuries and has been given some pain relief."
"He is now resting with his brothers away from the females but will rejoin the pride this weekend. The males were introduced slowly to the females last year, so the pride is still settling in under the watchful eyes of our carnivore keepers. Lions are very tough animals and disputes similar to this are very common in the wild."
Now Jilani will, like other lions, have an innate instinct to kill and dominate others but that should not mean his plight is any less deserving of sympathy. It is awful when any living creature is made the victim of a vicious and relentless attack.
We hope Jilani is recovering well and wish him and the other lions all the best for their health and safety in the park.