Four Paces from Death (part 12)

by david on December 11, 2012

      The smiles and handshakes were going around and my senses were returning to normal when Phil said he wanted to show me something.  As Leonard and David started to set up things for pictures, he took me back toward our hiding spot.  I made a comment that we had picked out a good spot for an ambush and Phil added that something else thought it was a good spot also.  Before I could ask why, he pointed to the remains of a buffalo that was about twenty yards to the left of our spot.  “That is a lion kill,” he told me.  We had not been able to see it from where we sat but we were close, very close, to approximately a lion kill of four days earlier.  At the time I really did not understand the danger of being around a lion kill.  It was later that afternoon when I witnessed first-hand how violently lions could defend their kill. 

      It seems that the lions had made a fresh kill before dawn that morning, less than a thousand yards from where I took my buffalo.  When we drove by it later that afternoon for some pictures our presence seemed to reassure a group of vultures and they decided they wanted a bite to eat.  Before I could snap the first picture the lions came busting out of the shade to defend their kill.  After it was all said and done there was cloud of feathers covering the whole area, the vultures headed for a safer location and the lions were contentedly grunting back in their concealed location.  We were lucky that the kill we saw that morning was old and no longer worth defending.  If a lion had come for us while we had been sitting waiting on the buffalo to cross it would have gotten real bad real quick.  It just goes to show that when you hunt in Africa, you have to be prepared for anything at any time.

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