Heartbreaking moment a mother giraffe accidentally k.i.l.l.s her newborn calf with a l.e.t.h.a.l k.i.c.k while trying to see off a.t.t.a.c.k by hungry lioness

South Africa

A mother giraffe accidentally b.r.o.k.e her newborn calf’s neck with a f.a.t.a.l misguided k.i.c.k after attempting to f.i.g.h.t off a s.a.v.a.g.e a.t.t.a.c.k from a hungry lioness.

The b.r.u.t.a.l encounter shows a frantic mother wildly k.i.c.k.i.n.g out at the d.e.a.d.l.y lion but t.r.a.g.i.c.a.l.l.y s.t.r.i.k.i.n.g her own child in the melee rather than the predator in Kenya.

Aware that the b.l.o.w was l.e.t.h.a.l, and that the hours-old calf had no chance of surviving, the lion strategically retreated to a safe distance before waiting for the baby’s inevitable d.e.a.t.h to occur.

A mother giraffe accidentally broke her newborn calf's neck with a fatal misguided kick after attempting to fight off a savage attack from a hungry lioness

A mother giraffe accidentally b.r.o.k.e her newborn calf’s neck with a f.a.t.a.l. misguided k.i.c.k after attempting to f.i.g.h.t off a s.a.v.a.g.e a.t.t.a.c.k from a hungry lioness

The brutal encounter shows a frantic mother wildly kicking out at the deadly lion but tragically striking her own child

The b.r.u.t.a.l encounter shows a frantic mother wildly k.i.c.k.i.n.g out at the d.e.a.d.l.y lion but t.r.a.g.i.c.a.l.l.y s.t.r.i.k.i.n.g her own child

As her calf lay dying, the distraught giraffe frantically tries to revive her baby before mournfully traipsing away, circling back to look at her lost child every few meters.

The distressing encounter was captured by South African wildlife photographer, Mike Dexter, 33.

He had spent hours tracking the proud mother and her newborn take its first fumbling steps across the Maasai Mara, Kenya.

The acclaimed photographer, who also acts as a safari guide, was taken aback by the traumatic sighting of nature at its most unforgiving.

Mike Dexter, 33, had spent hours tracking the proud mother and her newborn take its first fumbling steps

Mike Dexter, 33, had spent hours tracking the proud mother and her newborn takes its first fumbling steps

Dexter says: 'We had been following the two giraffes for some time as they made their way across the plains, the calf was just a few hours old so they were moving slowly, not much going on'

Dexter says: ‘We had been following the two giraffes for some time as they made their way across the plains, the calf was just a few hours old so they were moving slowly, not much going on

A lioness approaches the pair as the mother tries to shield the young calf from the predator as Dexter watches on primed with his camera

A lioness approaches the pair as the mother tries to shield the young calf from the predator as Dexter watches on primed with his camera

The lioness narrows in on the baby giraffe as its mother looks on protectively before the violent scenes unfold

The lioness narrows in on the baby giraffe as its mother looks on protectively before the violent scenes unfold

‘We had been following the two giraffes for some time as they made their way across the plains, the calf was just a few hours old so they were moving slowly, not much going on,’ says Dexter, who uses the Instagram handle @mikedexterphotography.

‘Out of nowhere a lioness stuck her head up out of the grass not more than 50 meters from the giraffe, it was entirely unexpected for me, the giraffe and the lion.

‘I also did not expect the lion to actually take on the giraffe calf alone as adult giraffe are known for their formidable k.i.c.k.s and predators usually err on the side of caution. On this day, the lioness decided to try her luck.’

Dexter watched in horror as the scene erupted into v.i.o.l.e.n.c.e.

 

‘The giraffe lashes out with a lethal k.i.c.k as a lioness tackles her newborn calf,’ added the 33-year-old photographer, who fell in love with the African Bush as a youngster before getting his dream job guiding at the world-famous Malamala Game Reserve in South Africa.

The giraffe is distressed as she realises she's killed her newborn calf as the lioness circles her in the Maasai Mara in Kenya

The giraffe is distressed as she realizes she’s k.i.l.l.e.d her newborn calf as the lioness circles her in the Maasai Mara in Kenya

As her calf lay dying, the distraught giraffe frantically tries to revive her baby before mournfully traipsing away, circling back to look at her lost child every few metres

As her calf lay dying, the distraught giraffe frantically tries to revive her baby before mournfully traipsing away, circling back to look at her lost child every few meters

The mother giraffe continues to pursue the lioness for a while but her attempts are futile as the predator lies some way off

The mother giraffe continues to pursue the lioness for a while but her attempts are futile as the predator lies some way off

‘Tragically her aim is slightly off and it is her baby’s neck that receives the full force of the b.l.o.w, rather than the lion’s.

‘The mother giraffe continues to pursue the lion for a while but her attempts are futile. The lioness lies down a little way off, comfortable in the knowledge that she just has to wait it out.

‘The mother giraffe mills about for a while, apparently unsure of what to do next. Her baby is still alive but its neck is clearly b.r.o.k.e.n. Eventually, she starts moving off, stopping every 20 meters or so to turn and look back.

‘Once she was about 100 meters away the lion sauntered back onto the scene and minutes later the baby’s short life had gone full circle in just one morning.’

Although s.a.v.a.g.e, Dexter believes that his impressive shots show the reality of life on the plains.

‘It was tough to watch, particularly the evident distress that the mother was in after her f.a.t.a.l error,’ he admits.

‘But it’s important to tell the full story. I think people appreciate it when they see my photos, they think the shots are great but the situation is tragic. Usually, it’s an “Oh my God!”, hand-to-mouth reaction.

‘Nature isn’t all cute and cuddly, behind every majestic portrait of a lion looking regal is a hefty body count.’

By: dailymail.co.uk

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