Flyin’ Lion: Heroic Cape Buffalo Flips Predator Skyward in South Africa

A buffalo in South Africa’s Kruger National Park recently showed a lion who the true king of the jungle is—well, king for the day anyway.

In viral footage (25 million visits and counting) posted to YouTube on Dec. 13, a 1,200-pound cape buffalo can be seen digging his horn into a lioness’ stomach and flipping her an estimated sixteen feet skyward after she attacked another buffalo.

Oliver Matheson, the South African teenager who captured the footage while driving through the park with his father, described the moments leading up to the scene to The Daily Mail.

"Two young lions had been silently stalking the buffalo for about 45 minutes when one finally made its move,” he said. “But the predator was so focused on bringing down his prey that it left itself open to a surprise attack.”

Threatened by several factors, including habitat loss and scarcity of wild prey because of overhunting by humans, the wild lion population has plummeted from 200,000 in the 1950s to around 20,000 today.

And while this lioness didn’t die—each animal involved in the skirmish escaped with only minor injuries—she did pad away with “one bruised ego,” as Matheson put it. 

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Original article from TakePart