Battle of the sexes savannah-style: Moment two lionesses launch extraordinary attack on a threatening male
Two lionesses stalk their male counterpart before launching an extraordinary attack on the stunned lion.
The dramatic set of photographs capture in startling detail the moments two females trade blows with the bigger lion.
The females were out hunting when they spotted the lion, and fearing he might be competition, they gave a show of force by landing powerful blows.
Game ranger Malcolm Bowling captured the images of a lifetime as he instinctively snapped away during the dramatic encounter, which lasted just seconds..
One of the lionesses had just given birth to a litter of cubs and had hidden them in a den while she went hunting with a fellow female.
After spotting the lion, she made her way towards him followed by the other female, before they pounced on the male and made a joint attack.
Once the lionesses had made their point they disappeared off into the savannah in search of a meal for the newborn cubs.
Malcolm, 34, from South Africa, took the photos at the country’s Kruger National Park and said he had been stunned by the encounter.
He said: ‘More than likely the females felt threatened and did not want a male around to push them off food and possibly present a threat to their cubs.’
‘I had positioned the Land Rover with the best possible view for the meeting and the interaction between the male and females with little idea it was going to be as grand as it was.’
‘As I started shooting multiple images, the episode unfolded extremely fast in front of us.’
‘There was always going to be some kind of interaction – but the extent of this was dramatic.’
‘I was completely stunned. It was one of those moments a photographer longs for.’
‘Nobody can predict how events are going to unfold or to what degree, and then something like this happens in an incredible way.’
‘There is that excitement and nervousness about whether or not you captured it.’
‘Events in nature happen incredibly fast, so I was fortunate enough to capture what I got.’
‘This sequence of photographs captures the whole approach, attack and reprieve which is unbelievable in itself.’
‘This turn of events re-iterates the fact that we never know in nature what is going to happen – speculate, yes, but actually know? Never.’