By Jamie Smith
This roar-some sequence of images shows two powerful male lions literally locked in a battle for supremacy, competing for dominance on the African plains.
The short but intense fight that took place earlier this year in The Masai Mara, Kenya sees one of the lions appear to get the other in a HEADLOCK and another dynamic frame sees one of the predators tackled to the ground.
Although the images show brutal scenes both of the males emerged from the confrontation largely unscathed.
The Masai Mara is an evocative African wildlife haven that boasts one of the world’s great concentrations of predatory big cats.
Retired Scientist Stephen Underwood who was staying at the Kicheche Mara camp, captured the brawl on camera.
The 60 year-old who hails from Ashland, Massachusetts said: “As a keen amateur photographer, I am a frequent visitor to the Masai Mara in Kenya for its unparalleled photographic opportunities.”
“One of the male lions was with a female of another pride. The second male approached in a threatening posture, and attacked the first. Although the two males were likely related, their competition for dominance over the females was intense. With teeth and claws exposed, their resulting fight was brief but ferocious.”
“It is a remarkable experience to be close to lions and other wild animals while on an African safari. While photographing in Africa, I am privileged occasionally to witness something extraordinary. This insane fight between two magnificent, powerful male lions was astonishing. Nothing can prepare you for the drama and ferocity of a fight between these incredible animals. I will never forget the insanity of their exposed teeth and claws, and the crazed expression in their eyes as they threw themselves at each other !”
“Lions are revered as kings of their domain and powerful predators. Tragically, their populations are plummeting, largely due to conflict with humans and loss of their habitat. The Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya is one of the last, fragile areas where these magnificent cats can still roam wild.”