Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

Cheeky Jackal

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When you’re sat on by a large male lion you would consider yourself lucky just to escape unscathed.
But this feisty jackal appears so angry at the indignity that it attacks the king of the beasts.
The amazing sequence of pictures showing the unique encounter was captured next to a waterhole in the Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia.
Co-founder and Director of Research at Ongava Research Centre, Dr Ken Stratford told how this sort of behaviour by a jackal has never been seen before.

Sharing a drink: The jackal strolls by the lion as it bends down to sip water from a watering hole at the the Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia

Oops! The enormous lion leans back and accidentally sits on the tiny jackal which yelps with surprise, throws its ears back and wriggles free from the tight squeeze

Dr Stratford said: ‘The tail end of the dry season is a time of year when the waterholes in Ongava Game Reserve are particularly busy. But no one in my team ever dreamed of seeing this.
‘One of our camera-traps had fired off a sequence of 10 shots revealing a black-backed jackal attacking a young adult male lion – in broad daylight.
‘Not only do cat and canine typically frequent waterholes at night rather than by day, we found no previous record of a jackal being so aggressive towards a lion.’
Describing the sequence of ten pictures, British-born Dr Stratford said: ‘A large but young adult male lion is taking a drink at the waterhole as a black-backed jackal passes by and as the jackal gets closer, the two animals seem to be ignoring each other.
‘The lion has sat down, presumably inadvertently squashing the passing jackal. Unhurt, the jackal squeezes out from under the lion and rounds on him, furious at the indignity.

You’re not getting away with that! The plucky jackal rears up onto its hind legs and bares its sharp teeth at the surprised lion, starting a David and Goliath showdown

The fight is on: The brave jackal refuses to be intimidated by the size of the lion and moves in close enough to grab the predator’s beard in its teeth

‘The feisty jackal leaps towards the lion’s face risking a side-swipe from the big cat’s enormous and deadly paw before continuing to prance around the lion like an irritating wasp.
‘Ominously, the lion rises to his feet, perhaps nearing the end of his patience, towering over the jackal and it is then that the jackal appears to consider the prudence of continuing the assault.
‘Wisely, the jackal decides that the lion has learned his lesson and continues his journey around the waterhole.’

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