Baby Impala’s Risky Encounter with a Lion: A Tale of Innocence and Predation

In a strange turn of events, an innocent baby impala walks up to a male lion and experiences its first and last encounter with an apex predator.

This interesting sighting was captured by Sylvie Failletaz, while on an early morning game drive near Nyamepi campground, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.

Sylvie tells LatestSightings.com the story: “The day started out really warm, with early morning temperatures reaching 25 °C. Not far from the camp we bumped into 2 male lions that had eaten an adult impala the night before. They were doing what lions usually do… sleep and laze around.”

“After taking a few photos and watching them for a while we decided to wait a little longer. The sun’s rays were starting to peek over the horizon, and it was getting lighter and lighter. With it being such a hot morning, we were hoping that the lions would get hot in the sun and move into the shade – that way we could see something else other than sleeping lions.”

“Then suddenly and unexpectedly, a baby impala started wandering around and ran straight towards the male lion. I was thinking no, no, no, go away, wrong move! We could not believe that the baby impala actually walked up to a male lion. I really thought the impala would turn around as soon as it realised there was danger, but it didn’t. The baby seemed so lost and so innocent, it clearly didn’t know what the lion was. It was most probably its first and last encounter.”

“It came right beside the sleeping lion and nearly touched it. I was hoping it would run away when it realised it wasn’t mummy. We were hoping the lion wouldn’t be interested in such a little snack considering he had eaten the day before.”

“The lion slowly lifted its head and looked at the baby impala. Then he swiftly sat up, with this extremely funny look on its face, like: hang on, what did I see? Am I dreaming? Food has come to me? I love the face, the ‘cartoon eyes’.”

“Then the action started, it happened so fast! The male lion seemed very slow at the start, but then put in some effort and caught the baby impala who didn’t stand a chance. I couldn’t get the angle to follow the chase because our car was turned around and facing the wrong way. I, unfortunately, had the wrong lens on my camera as well, so I missed the action and felt quite disappointed. However, I did capture a few shots that tell the story of what happened.”

“It was the first time witnessing a chase from start to finish! I felt very lucky and privileged to see such a sighting in the wild during the day with such nice lighting. However, I felt sorry for the super cute baby impala. I would have loved a happy ending for it, but unfortunately, it wasn’t his day. Nature can be cruel and there are no rules in the wild.”

 

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