In the predator-rich savannahs and dense woodlands of South Africa's lowveld it helps to travel in a group. Baboons usually employ a sentry or two to keep watch for danger while the rest of the troop forage and bask. These lookouts will sound the alarm if anything toothy turns up, but even the most dedicated sentinels occasionally lose concentration. While on a recent game drive in the MalaMala Game Reserve, safari guide Mike Botes filmed several baboons dangling from the underside of a bridge while a pride of lions ambled along overhead. Clearly, the warning bark came a little late in this instance.

The sighting took place on the West Street Bridge, a well-known crossing that stretches over the Sand River in the heart of the MalaMala Concession. Baboons regularly make use of the bridge and "this particular day was no different, as a troop of baboons was soaking up the morning sun," Botes explained to Latest Sightings. "Unfortunately for them, the warm sun was just so good that they lost focus and did not see the lions approaching. I instantly saw what was happening and decided to veer off to the side and watch from down below."

Although the lions were not actively hunting, these big cats are opportunistic predators and will readily snatch an easy meal if it's available. As the pride sauntered onto the bridge, the baboons suddenly spotted them, triggering a frantic scramble for safety. With no trees to escape to, the primates were forced to scurry onto the metal girder on the underside of the bridge where they remained safe from the swipes of lions. 

"The baboons, feeling confident now that they were out of reach, began taunting the lions. They were literally under the lions’ noses, and the lions could not do a thing," Botes quipped.

Realising they could not get to the troop, the lions eventually moved on and the baboons went about their business.