Solitary wild cats like leopards and caracals may be content to target moderate-sized prey, but lions are often more ambitious in their predatory pursuits. Armed with the numbers to take on large prey and the need to feed a whole pride, these big cats are known to tackle buffalo bulls, adult kudus, and even elephants. Giraffes are also among the more sizeable of the lion's meal options. But bringing them down is no small feat.

On a recent game drive in South Africa's Klaserie Private Nature Reserve field guide Francois Pienaar and a group of guests witnessed a pride of lions attempting to bring down an old giraffe bull. When Pienaar first came across the cats, they were doing what lions do best: sleeping. "We only spent a couple of minutes with them before they started moving off after their morning nap," he explained to Latest Sightings. The group tailed the lions for a short while, until they noticed that the predators were closing in on a lone giraffe.

"We sat quietly in the vehicle as we watched the lions stalking this old bull," Pienaar explains. The cats crept to within striking distance before launching an attack. The boldest of the big cats scrambled onto the giraffe's back – some 3.5 metres off the ground – and held on while the rest of the pride attached themselves to the bull's legs. The giraffe was nursing some kind of injury to its back left leg which is perhaps why the lions targeted him in the first place.

The lions spent five hours trying to bring the giraffe down, but the old bull was unwilling to give up without a fight. Eventually, the cats called it a day and moved off, leaving the giraffe a battle-scarred but alive.

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