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Rare Moment A Crocodile Tries To Crash A Lion’s Dinner Party

Have you ever had a lovely dinner party ruined when an unwanted, uninvited dinner guest turns up?

Well, these angry lions have – they were enjoying a delicious meal of antelope steak on the banks of a river in Zambia when, all of a sudden, a crocodile turned up and tried to sneak a bite to eat.

The lions are captured with an all-too-human stunned look of surprise on their faces when they look up from their feast and find a crafty additional mouth at the table.

The fearless Nile crocodile – known as charmingly enough as ‘Fred’ to residents of South Luangwa, Zambia – risked taking on two fearsome adult females who were feeding their cubs.

But as this remarkable video and pictures show Fred had no qualms about wandering over to try his luck and steal a chunk of an impala – an African antelope – the lionesses had just killed.

It takes the big cats a few moments to realize Fred is coming towards them and at one stage it looks like he might succeed as he opens his massive jaws.

The lion cubs wisely scatter to avoid themselves becoming a meal, and for a second it looks like Fred has the upper hand.

But the huge lioness mothers decide enough is enough and spurred on, both by anger at the intruder and the instinct to protect their young, they begin to claw and bite Fred until he decides it’s time to go.

Almost as quickly as it started the titanic struggle is over, and Fred runs through the grass back to the safety of the river at the South Luangwa, Zambia.

Photographer and bushcamp manager Oli Drake, 34, from The Bushcamp Company, was just 20 meters away in his tent when the action unfolded.

He said: ‘As the Luangwa Valley heats up towards the end of September it’s best to wake up early if you won’t get things done and avoid the heat of the day.

‘What I was not expecting, as I woke up at 5.30 am that morning, was to witness a clash of the titan’s metres away from my tent.

‘I just washing my face, when the waiter came rushing over to my tent calling ‘bwana, bwana come quick if you want to see the lions hunting.

‘I pulled on some clothes and dashed over to the dining area, where he had been preparing breakfast, to see a lioness and three cubs out on the plain in front of camp.’

Oli said the lion pride were well-known to local conservation researchers the Zambia Carnivore Programme and were led by a male lion dubbed ‘Scarface’ and a scar on his face he ironically received in a crocodile attack.

Oli said: ‘I ran back to my tent to get my camera, to find one of the lionesses crouching in wait on the other side of a small, spring-fed channel not 20 metres from my tent.

‘Having grabbed my camera and tripod, we both sat in wait, while a nearby group of impala started making alarm calls.

‘Then, suddenly out of the tall grass, came bounding her pride mate, sending the impala into a panic and one right into the claws of the other lioness, right in front of me.

‘The rest of the pride rushed in to start feeding on the impala, a small meal for seven hungry mouths.

‘But the cats were sσ engrossed in their meal, that it took them a while to realise that they had an uninvited table guest the huge crocodile that lives in the channel that runs through camp had smelt its opportunity and decided to try its luck at grabbing a piece of the action.

‘The lionesses seemed to be protecting the kill as well as their cubs, although the croc does seem to have gotten away with a small chunk of meat.

This battle of the titans was a very noisy affair, all going on some 15 metres away, with nothing between me and the action, but a narrow stream.

‘I could not believe what I had just seen, let alone been able to film and photograph it.’