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Mongoose in the Lions' Den

by Scotch Macaskill

Seven of us were on a Botswana camping safari, enjoying a marvellous lion sighting on the sandy banks of the Chobe River in Chobe National Park. The lions had spread out, with one group at a waterhole on our left when suddenly we noticed activity some distance to our right.

Four young lions had surrounded a tiny mongoose (below) and, like domestic cats with a mouse, looked ready for some fun prior to snack-time.

This was an amazing picture opportunity, but unfortunately the longest lens I possessed was an 80-200mm zoom.

Picture of Lions surrounding mongoose

It wasn't clear how the mongoose got itself into this situation, but its demise appeared imminent, specially after one of the lions made a lunge for it (below).

Picture of lion lunging at mongoose

Amazingly, the mongoose survived, emerging from the dust unscathed. Possibly the soft sand - a feature of the area - cushioned it against the attack.

The brave little critter then took a nip at one of the lion's paws and scurried away with a swift backward glance (below, circled) before disappearing into the thick bush. You can visit the Gallery section to see more Mongoose Pictures

Picture of mongoose escaping from lions

Lion and Mongoose Video

See also this video about a young lion playing with and tormenting a mongoose:

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