Buffalo carcass – no easy meal
The white-backed vulture spiraled out of the azure sky, following the invisible trail left by those that had first spotted the buffalo carcass. Approaching a chosen spot, it dropped its `landing gear’ and braked hard to slow its descent before it crashed into the trees.
Lions, hyaenas and even guides will follow vultures, hoping for easy pickings. A vulture gliding effortlessly in a thermal is not necessarily over a kill; but a vulture in a controlled, speedy descent is heading for one of two things: a meal or a drink. And in this case, it may have been heading for both.
In an attempt to slake its thirst, a buffalo had ventured too far into the glutinous mud around a water hole. There it had slowly weakened as it struggled and then finally drowned. Its struggles had attracted the interest of hooded vultures, usually first on the scene with the bataleurs and they in turn had been tailed by white-backed vultures.
A male lion followed the vultures in and he climbed onto the trapped carcass, seeking a way through the thick skin to the rich meat below.
After numerous attempts to tear and bite through the dead buffalo’s thick skin, he rested atop the carcass, for all the world, proclaiming the booty as his.
With a swish of his tail the lion knew that he had been licked this time,
but he knew that he could not give up without one more attempt.