By Jamie Smith
A buffalo calf almost became lunch for this lioness – until his two protective parents saved the day.
Veterinary surgeon Ben Cranke, 54, captured these incredible images which show the sometimes brutal reality for animals living in Botswana, Africa.
In his sequence, the lion lunges at the young calf and nearly has the baby animal in her claws before his protective parents charge the big cat – although the lioness didn’t leave without putting up a fight.
Ben, who was on a photographic safari, said: “An elderly 18-year-old lioness lead the hunt but failed to catch the young calf and got butted by an older buffalo.
“The entire experience was harrowing but exhilarating.”