WATCH | Territorial terrapin 'chases' two lions away from its waterhole

22 April 2021 - 07:10
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni

A territorial terrapin was spotted having a go at lions trying to quench their thirst in its waterhole.

The funny interaction was shared by Latest Sightings. It was captured by 30-year-old safari guide Reggi Barreto near the Sand River in the MalaMala Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Park.

In it, the little terrapin can be seen showing the lions who's boss in its waterhole.

The thirsty lions had just come back from a hunt. 


Barreto said he spotted the almost confusing moment after he heard about a few lions on a young zebra foal catch.

“I knew the lions would look for water to drink and we positioned ourselves in the perfect spot with the sunlight in our favour, ready for the sighting,” said Barreto.

“What came next we did not expect. I was pleasantly surprised when the terrapin came out of the wallow towards the male and then the lioness.”

Barreto said the two lions managed to fill up despite the interruptions from the terrapin and then headed back closer to the zebra foal to lay down.

“It was an incredibly rare sighting for me to film, watching the terrapin approach the lions that had blood on their chins from the zebra. It seems as though the terrapin was actually more interested in getting some of that blood off the lions' chins, as opposed to chasing the lions away,” he said.