We’ve never seen anything like this, nor do we expect to see it again: But this turtle in the Kruger National Park stood its ground against all the odds earlier this week, to chase a pride of lions away from their favourite watering hole.
Hero in a half-shell: Kruger turtle proves size doesn’t matter
All that’s missing here is a David Attenborough voiceover. These thirsty lions, exhausted from a successful hunt in humid conditions, decide to reward themselves with a well-earned drink. They assume their position and take in some of the refreshing water – before this ‘Kruger ninja turtle’ turns up to mark its territory.
The shelled creature sneaks up to the lions, before getting right in their faces. It nips the ferocious felines in the jaw, taking a small bite out of the bemused targets. Words can’t really do this scene justice, so we’ve got the video here:
Watch: Turtle chases lions away in Kruger Park
Safari guide captures ‘incredibly rare sighting’
The one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by 30-year-old guide, Reggi Barreto, while on safari with a private guest near the Sand River in the MalaMala Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Park. Like the rest of us, he was totally shocked by the mismatch of the century – and the subsequent result of this confrontation:
“We had heard about a few lions on a young zebra foal catch and my guests and I had decided to follow up in the afternoon to see if they were still visible. I knew the lions would look for water to drink and we positioned ourselves in the perfect spot with the sunlight in our favour, ready for the sighting. What came next, we did not expect…”
“I was pleasantly surprised when the terrapin came out of the wallow towards the male and then the lioness. Both lions drank their fill despite the interruptions from the terrapin. It was an incredibly rare sighting for me to film – watching the terrapin approach the lions that had blood on their chins from the zebra.”