An Amateur Planet Earth

And now for something a bit different. This is by far the most interesting amateur wildlife video I’ve ever seen, shot at South Africa’s Kruger National Park by someone on safari. It shows a battle between a herd of buffalo, a pride of lions, and two crocodiles. Warning: could be a bit violent for some.

Comments

  1. Becks07 says

    It’s like watching different men in a bar fighting over the one cute guy there. I’m gonna be laughing to myself next time I see that happen and think of this video.

  2. says

    The voices sound like the come from a Monte Python skit, especially the women who screech, “Wha there’s a crocodile there!” or some such thing.

    I kinda wanted to see the tourists waddle into the fray.

  3. says

    I have a great sense of humor and can be sarcastic, witty and light-hearted with the best, but to compare that amazing footage to cruising a gay bar is just ridiculous to me.

    This footage demonstrates that heart, tenacity and strength of will exists even in the wild. I’m consistently grounded by how amazing the world we rest on can be. This video capture reinforces that…

  4. MARTY says

    Went to Botswana once and it brings back sweet memories. Of the many safaris I did, nothing compares to this heart pounding sequence. Life at its purest. Good job!

  5. John says

    South Africa is an amazing place. And I’m not just saying that because they legalized gay marriage either.

    The scenery is absolutely beautiful, and culturally, it’s one of the most fascinating places on earth. I find it hard not to feel a spcial connection to the place.

    Dismissing the advice of white expatriates (to not go) was one of my better travel decisions of late. While there is some truth to the complaints about the soaring crime rate, the claim that it is racially motivated is dubious at best. It’s the same as any other third world country. There is a lot of violence, but if you exercise common sense pre-cautions (use private taxis, have a guide for the more dangerous sites, don’t wear Prada shoes), the chances of encountering it is slim. I get the feeling many of these ex-South Africans simply miss apartheid. And whatever they can’t have, they want to wreck.

  6. pacificoceanboy says

    Wow

    Herbivores in the house!

    of course the humans “…you can sell that video”

    All 4 groups of animals buffalo, lions, crocidiles, and humans were all caught on that film.

  7. mark m says

    Ok that may just be the most amazing wildlife footage I’ve ever seen.

    The herd KNEW that the baby was still alive and acted on it! The bystanders (including me) were convinced it was over for the little one. Took my breath away.

    Thank you Andy for posting this and making my day.

  8. Becks07 says

    Oh lighten up Jason — and why “rest” on this world when you can actually DO something, instead? Or are you too busy casting evaporative commentary to get anything done?

    But whatever, any humor in my post was trounced by The Artist Known As Chux.

  9. Giovanni says

    Wow that was truly awe inspiring – just when you thought you had seen it all…(especially after watching the Planet Earth dvds which at the moment are at the top of my coolest things ever list)!

  10. Gil says

    Perhaps just as fascinating as the grand guignol, and unfortunately absent from view, was the behavior of the buffalo prior to rallying to the rescue. I would like to have seen how they organized themselves.

    Because what I find most intriguing is the escalation of aggression in the buffalo and how it spurs a few ‘individuals’ to take offensive action against the lion pack–ultimately determining the outcome in this ‘test of wills’.

    And to what degree the calf’s continued communication with the herd accelerated this aggressive response is open to conjecture.

  11. pacificoceanboy says

    Gil

    Interesting

    I would assume the wailing of the calf triggers some sort of genetic survival trait (protecting offspring being of course the surest way to species survival while those who don’t protect their children die out), but I to would love to have seen the actual outward physiological reactions and subsequent social interaction leading up to the charge of the buffalo brigade.

    I also would have loved to see my own self in a mirror, everyone else, and the video tapers physiological reactions to watching this. The quickened heart rate, the dialation of the eyes, breathing altering etc. There have been studies that show human males in particular will even pop a willy when viewing violence.

    Anyway; I am wondering how long afterward the calf survived. All those teeth and claw wounds bleeding couldn’t have been good for the long term survival of the calf.

    PS reminds of some taurus individuals I know. Don’t piss them off or they will toss you across the room with their metaphorical horns and keep charging after one decides to high tail it away.

  12. Gil says

    Pacificoceanboy

    It’s also interesting to note the initial defensive posture of the buffalo which is near scant: with that quite obvious solitary cow and calf being led by a lone bull; an all too easy target.

    When put in comparison to the herding posture of other ruminants, the muskox for example, or even the hippo, for that matter, whom always corral their young between the adults and, when threatened, form a circular defense barrier around them, the buffalo’s nonchalance appears incredibly ‘naive’. I’d be curious to know if the collective heat generated by close proximity and the unavoidable cloud of insects it attracts has an underlying influence over the buffalo’s dispersal pattern.

  13. pacificoceanboy says

    Gil I would venture a guess based soley on the video that maybe the heat explaines the non-chalance but the spacing out more on draught conditions might . The grass looks dried out and dead, not green with fresh life at all. Would dried out lifeless grass cause these herbivores to not be as packed together?

  14. gr8guyca says

    How did the water buffalo communicate the situation among themselves and then act in a group manner to protect the calf?
    It seems to imply intelligence. But I guess it’s just instinct.

  15. gr8guyca says

    How did the water buffalo communicate the situation among themselves and then act in a group manner to protect the calf?
    It seems to imply intelligence. But I guess it’s just instinct.

  16. gr8guyca says

    How did the water buffalo communicate the situation among themselves and then act in a group manner to protect the calf?
    It seems to imply intelligence. But I guess it’s just instinct.

  17. gr8guyca says

    How did the water buffalo communicate the situation among themselves and then act in a group manner to protect the calf?
    It seems to imply intelligence. But I guess it’s just instinct.

  18. lee Gordon says

    No, that is intelligence. That involved communication and social bonding and defense. It implied complex emotions such as group identity and maternal and paternal instincts, anger and concer. Remarkable. I should never eat anything but a plant, fruit or seed again!!!

  19. Steph says

    Wow this is great to see this again. I am a born and bred South African and we take our country for granted on a daily bases. Thank you for reminding me to get away for a weekend again. Sunny greetings from the tip of Africa.

  20. CK says

    That really was amazing footage… a once in a lifetime experience for those that were there! Those game parks in South Africa are truly incredible. Anyone who has a chance to visit them (and South Africa), should.

    But I have to say in response to John’s comment:

    “I get the feeling many of these ex-South Africans simply miss apartheid. And whatever they can’t have, they want to wreck.”

    … that sounded really out of line. My entire family is still in South Africa (while I now live in the USA) and I found that comment very disrespectful. I am sorry that you must only have met obnoxious ex-South Africans, I hope you get to meet others of us ‘white expatriates’ that are not like that, who can change your mind on that subject.

  21. John says

    I said many, not all. And given our own history of racial segregation in United States, and after hearing holiday ‘advice’ like:

    “Don’t turn your back on them [blacks] for one second. They’ll mug you…or worse”

    “The ANC has turned a beautiful country into a third world shithole, that’s why I left”

    “Be glad you’re gay, if you had a wife they’d [blacks] rape her and kill you”

    What conclusion would you draw? I think there was an assumption made that because I’m white I must share their regressive values. I do not.

    Forgive me for being blunt, but they sound suspiciously like the banter you hear from the likes of Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and other right-wing nutjobs whom we routinely condemn here.

    Does that mean all white South African expats are racist? Of course not. But based on these experiences, I would say that it is a problem within that community. Just as it is a problem within the queer community (which I’ve repeatedly pointed out here and elsewhere).

  22. CK says

    “Does that mean all white South African expats are racist? Of course not. But based on these experiences, I would say that it is a problem within that community.”

    I can understand that if those were the only ex-SA people that you met, you could have been led to that kind of conclusion. Since you appear to be a person that looks deeper into things, I hope you would have then sought out the other side of the coin, and asked progressive, intelligent and compassionate ‘white expats’ what their take is, and not have jumped to the conclusion that we are all like those idiots you spoke to. Those you spoke to, just like Savage, Hannity and their kind, are arrogant, righteous and insufferable assholes. However, they are not many, as you mentioned, but few. Seek out the others of us that are not remotely like them and I know you will be pleasantly surprised.

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