Lunchtime lesson: Brutal moment lionesses attempt to take down huge buffalo

This is the brutal moment three lionesses attempt to teach their cubs how to take down a huge buffalo – but it luckily manages to escape.

A sequence of photographs show the buffalo scarpering as one of the lionesses leaps on to its back with her teeth bared.

Michael Mansell/Mercury Press

Another shows her clinging on to the buffalo’s front legs with her claws digging in but the Cape Buffalo, which can weigh between 500 to 1,000kg, manages to flee unharmed.

The images were taken at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania in July.

Photographer Michael Mansell from Tucson, Arizona, said: “This was a massive Cape buffalo and the mother lionesses were training their cubs showing them how to take down a buffalo.

“If they can successfully roll the buffalo then the rest of the lions can jump on it for a successful kill.

Michael Mansell/Mercury Press

“They didn’t manage to do this and it actually ended with the hyenas chasing it across the river.

“It was a tense moment lasting about five to 10 minutes and involving around 16 lions.

“It felt amazing to witness, It all happened really fast.

“I didn’t really comprehend what had happened until it was all over.”

Michael Mansell/Mercury Press

The 40 year old said the images were taken from a safari vehicle during the his first wildlife photography trip.

Online marketer Michael said: “When I saw the images I relived the whole moment and was giddy with excitement seeing how the images had captured it all.”