A Kudu Makes Lions Lose Face
LAST year in South Africa, a huge antelope—a kudu bull—assumed its stance in front of a luxury Lowveld game lodge. Its look was alert and very aggressive, so it is little wonder that the local kudu leader took umbrage at this brash invasion of his territory. An eyewitness reported on the kudu leader’s attack: “He snorted, stamped the ground and took the attack stance. With his horns down he charged. When he hit the kudu he got the fright of his life.” The intruder did not budge. The local kudu bull charged again. Still no results. In a frustrated rage and a cloud of dust, the local leader “broke down all the surrounding trees before moving off.” He hasn’t returned, apparently concluding that the newcomer is unbeatable.
The kings of the jungle fared no better. Ranger Carlson Mathebula reported that 12 lions surrounded the kudu. He said of their encounter with it: “Suddenly two lionesses began stalking it. With a mighty roar one jumped onto the back of the kudu while the other ran up to its side and lunged at its neck. . . . They both fell to the ground in fright and lay there frozen. Another lioness joined the fray. She ran up to the kudu and with a massive swipe at the legs she tried to bring it down, but it just stood there.” The 12 lions became so incensed at their failure to bring this big kudu down that “they savaged a rain gauge, a garden sprinkler and outdoor furniture before slinking off in disgrace.”
Without moving a muscle, the kudu had routed the local herd of kudu from their territory and put to flight a pride of lions. The report in the Sunday Times of Johannesburg, South Africa, spoke of this kudu as a superbuck weighing 660 pounds [300 kg] and made of bronze. Mr. Keith Calder, who cast the bronze kudu, said: “It’s a compliment to me that the lions and kudu found it so realistic.”