• Danielle Sheedy

When a girl and her dog watch lions hunt

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

After spending a couple of days in the city of Nelspruit, and having Grampsy in the hospital (He is doing great by the way and is being discharged today), I needed to spend the day outside, with nature, giving some TLC to my writing which has been on the back burner with everything that has been going on. (These days’ cities leave me feeling so claustrophobic).


So, I moved my office outside, with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, bino’s and my camera just in case I should see something exciting to capture, and the Bella Lump (My bulldog pup) lay at my feet, having a nap.

I was enjoying the peace and tranquility of the Kruger, and being home. It was a slightly overcast day and there was many plains game about, wildebeest, warthog, impala, and waterbuck. I even saw an ostrich couple at the top of the hill, which was rather unbelievable, as we don’t really see ostrich around the Crocodile Bridge area. Three grumpy dagga boy buffalos had also wondered across the river to our side, and were munching away in the reeds below.


The Egyptian Geese were in full swing, trumpeting away, and I could hear the clapping of their wings as they were flapping about.


All of a sudden, our resident troop of Vervet monkeys began to alarm call loudly. Bella Lump woke up immediately and began to growl softly, and then a herd of impala and the three dagga boy buffs came running out of the bushes at top speed and in to the opening in front of the deck. I already grabbed my camera and was filming this, when I looked a little closer and realized there were lions on the buffalo’s flanks, as they were stampeding through the reeds.




The plains game ran straight past us, and around the bend of the river. At this point, Bella was barking loudly, and then I saw them; about 10 lions all in the reeds below us, staring at Bella and I, with their piercing rust-coloured eyes. It was incredible, but I realized I had to get Bella inside.


Bella was a funny dog, she was incredibly brave during the day, and was ready to take on a pride of lions, but come the nighttime, she refused to even go outside to use the loo. Scared of the dark? Or scared of how lions change in the dark?


I came back out, and watched them trot past, they were obviously trailing the buffalo, so they didn’t linger, but I managed to capture them on video, which was great. The video was taken with my Iphone, so the quality wasn’t the best but at least I managed to get it.



I had total goose bumps, seeing so many lions hunting right in front of the house. I’m not sure if their hunt was successful, I imagine if they had caught one of the buffalo that we would have heard the painful cries of the buff.


As I was sitting there still trying to get over the total excitement of the moment, I looked over at our neighbours property, and to my surprise saw an Impala ewe inside their property just staring through the fence at the Kruger.


She had obviously been so frightened by the lions, that she ran straight through the fence on to their side. Her little nose was bleeding, and she looked like she was in a bit of shock but apart from that, she seemed to be fine, she was rather lucky as the lions didn’t make a meal out of her. The neighbours put their dogs away, and as I was sat on the deck wandering how on earth they would get the impala back to the Kruger.


The most incredible thing happened…


She climbed through the fence; first she put her head through, then the right front leg, left front, and lastly her back legs. She was safely back in the Kruger. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed; she climbed through the fence with total ease.



Our staff told me a little later on that day, that there had also been three impalas on our side of the fence, and that they had watched them jump back over to the Kruger side. Our royal visitors had really frightened the daylights out of these poor impalas (and the monkeys).


Last week, a similar thing had happened. The lions which were hunting on our side again, sent the monkeys in to complete screams of hysteria, and as I ran to get my camera and headed down the property along the fence line, trying to spot them (I was feeling pretty vulnerable won’t lie), all of the monkeys jumped out of the trees and came running past either side of me at top speed. In all the commotion I had actually missed the lions completely, but our guests had seen them right next to the fence. It was the little boy's birthday, and they were here to celebrate, so I can imagine this was literally the best birthday present to him.


As I sit here and type this story, the lions are back again, and are moving toward the Crocodile Bridge, they obviously didn’t go far yesterday.



I hopped in my car, and drove down to Crocodile Bridge, where I got to see the beautiful sight of them crossing the road toward the camp.



The sub adult males continue to grow at a rapid rate, and I couldn’t help but notice the massive size of their paws. If they survive, they are going to form such a strong coalition. This excites me terribly.



I am also hoping our Vurhami pride, might have some cubs in the not so distant future. I could really love to have some bundles of adorable fluff visiting.


What can I say… never a dull moment at Ellie Walk when the royalty is visiting?

xxx

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