WATCH | Survival of the meanest: cheetah vs vultures vs lion

07 May 2020 - 10:18 By Unathi Nkanjeni
A lion steals from vultures that stole from a cheetah.
A lion steals from vultures that stole from a cheetah.
Image: Screenshot/ Latest Sighting

Latest Sighting has shared a video of a battle between a cheetah, a large group of vultures and a lion.

The video, captured by ranger Brett Heasman at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, Kruger National Park, shows an unexpected moment when a cheetah loses its food to vultures who then lose the kill to an opportunistic lion.

According to Heasman, the moment happened when he was running essential errands, and heard vervet monkeys screaming.

“We followed the calls and scanned the area and noticed a cheetah in an open space, so we dashed off to see what he was up to,” Heasman told the popular wildlife website.

“We saw that it had managed to take down an impala and figured that this was probably why the alarm calls were so urgent.

“Looking a bit nervous, as cheetahs normally do before settling down to eat, the cheetah scanned the area for any possible scavengers that might interrupt his feast. After a few scans of the area, he finally got going and started feasting on his hard-earned meal.”

Watch the video below:

Heasman explained that it wasn’t much later when a large number of vultures started arriving.

“Each time the cheetah lowered its head to take a bite, the vultures inched in closer and closer, almost circling the cheetah,” he said.

“After a few attempts by the cheetah at scaring the vultures off, they finally managed to overpower the cheetah and took the impala for themselves.”

Heasman said not even a minute later, a lion came rushing into view. The lion chased the vultures off and claimed the kill for himself.

“We sat in awe, watching the vultures scurry and feast while the cheetah disappeared into the thicket. Within a few seconds, it was chaos, vultures were scattering in a panic.”