Leap of faith! Astonishing footage shows wildebeest soaring over the heads of two lionesses as it escapes seven hungry big cats
This is the incredible moment a wildebeest makes an astonishing leap over two pouncing lionesses before outrunning seven big cats.
The escape, at Rhino Post Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park, South Africa, shows the wildebeest – already fleeing one lioness – stumbling into the path of two more hungry big cats.
As the big cats pounce, the wildebeest launches into the air, managing to avoid the lionesses’ claws and land a hefty kick to one in the head.
A wildebeest prepares to leap over two lionesses as it runs to escape a group of seven big cats
The encounter, caught on film by Lauren Hughey and posted on YouTube, starts with the wildebeest kicking up dust with his hooves as it swerves to avoid one female lion jumping out of the grass.
Ms Hughey says: ‘Look, she’s going to catch him,’ but the wildebeest keeps running.
As it makes its enormous leap over the next two predators, Ms Hughey can be heard exclaiming: ‘My God!’
The wildebeest shoots off the ground and jumps over the two lionesses waiting for it
These stills were shot by Bonga Njujula, head guide at Rhino Post Safari Lodge at Kruger National Park, while the escape was filmed by Lauren Hughey. Above: The wildebeest flies over the lions’ heads as they swipe at its legs
The wildebeest kicks out at one of the lionesses as it jumps, catching it in the face
As the wildebeest jumps, it unleashes a formidable weapon of its own – a massive kick with his rear hoof, which catches the unfortunate hunter square in the face.
Once past them, it bounds into a river and four more lionesses who had been lurking unseen in the grass join the chase, skirting round the water.
Mrs Hughey exclaims: ‘This is awesome!’ as the wildebeest reaches the other side and begins running again, its hooves clattering on the hard ground.
It looks as though the lionesses might catch up, but the wildebeest keeps running and disappears out of view into dense undergrowth.
The lions are then seen searching among the bushes for the lucky wildebeest, while one walks slowly along the edge of a dirt road.
The wildebeest then darts across a river and makes its escape into undergrowth