Animals Nature

By Dilantha Dissanayake


A clumsy lioness bit off more than she could chew after he set his sights on a passing tortoise.

Taken by photographer John Sampson, 64, these hilarious images show the juvenile lion trying to eat up the leopard tortoise but failing as the sturdy slow coach retreats into its shell.

The snaps were taken at the Royal Zambezi Lodge in the game management area, Lower Zambezi national park, Zambia.

John said: “My favourtie show is the lion intently watching the tortoise as it tried to make its escape.

“Seeing this was hugely exciting as it’s such a rare sighting.

“I was privileged to have been able to capture it in photographs.

“Even though it was incredibly intriguing watching the lion trying to crack open the shell to get to the tortoise inside, we were all rooting for the tortoise to survive and live for another day.

“We eventually left the scene to continue with our game drive, but returned later to see if we could determine what the final outcome had been.

“There was no sign of either the lion or the tortoise any remains of the tortoise.

“Our ranger was confident that the lion would eventually have tired of trying to break the shell, and “Royal” would have been able to escape unharmed.

“Thus our story has a happy ending! Well, for the tortoise, at least!”