By Luke Kenton
This hungry lion confused a camera for food, providing a first-person perspective of what it would be like to be one of the fearsome beast’s prey.
As apex predators, lions are infamous for being tenacious in the hunt – but according to Todd Lehman, 32, from Wildlife Protection Solutions, they’re surprising lazy in their down-time.
Hoping to capitalize on a moment of docility, Todd placed a 360 camera a short distance away from a napping pride, in the Thorny Game Bush Reserve, Hoedspruit, South Africa.
However, not realizing the lions hadn’t eaten in a number of days, suddenly the elderly matriarch of the pride emerged in shot, clasping the camera in its jaws.
Brandishing its ferocious fangs, the lioness takes several chomps at the camera before placing it down among a litter of young cubs – and thankfully for Todd, they lacked the jaw-power to permanently damage the camera.
Grateful to be able to salvage the footage and fascinated by its contents, Development coordinator, Todd, said: “We were following these lions around for the best part of the day, trying to get some action on film.
“But lions are notoriously lazy, so we settled to trying capture some lion nap time.
“We were watching from a distance to make sure the camera would be okay, but out from the bushes came a very old matriarch.
“She was incredibly weak from an altercation with a buffalo, so we didn’t think she’d bother with the camera.
“Turns out we were incredible wrong.
“Thinking back on it, she must’ve been very hungry – you can see her ribs as she approaches the camera.
“The saving grace was the whole situation was the camera ended up in the curious mouths of the lion cubs, which don’t have as strong of a bite.
“You really get a feel for what it’d be like, to be an impala or antelope.”