For buffalos in the African bushveld, sticking together can mean the difference between life and death.

This tense showdown was filmed recently in South Africa’s Timbavati Private Nature Reserve by student ranger Oliver Lane. Lane was on a morning game drive when he spotted a pair of lions on the hunt. The big cats had set their sights on an injured buffalo and quickly moved in for the kill. But before the lions could sink their teeth into their meal, the rest of the buffalo herd charged in to protect their fallen comrade.

For lions, attacking an adult buffalo is a calculated risk. If the hunt is successful, the spoils can provide a feast for the entire pride, but a buffalo is no easy target. Even if the lions succeed in bringing one down without getting skewered by its impressive horns, distress calls often draw the rest of the buffalo herd to the scene.

Fortunately, for this herd member, the buffalo “cavalry” arrived just in time to chase off the lions and force the injured animal to its feet.

Although they are not always witnessed, battles between lions and buffalos play out quite often in the African wilds, and this isn't the first time we've seen these massive herbivores taking on their feline rivals. Footage from Tanzania in 2014 shows a buffalo herd successfully protecting a calf from a pride of lions on the hunt, and the well-known Battle at Kruger clip is a perfect example of a herd working as a unit to defend their own.