Heartbreaking photos show how an antelope allowed itself to be taken down by a lion.
The scene captured in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa showed the two animals sharing the shade of a tree only moments before the predator attacked its prey.
Photographer Johan de Wet said that people who have seen the photos think that the injured antelope allowed the lion to kill it as it had hurt its leg and would not be able to run and survive.
Despite many people sharing the same theory, Johan remains skeptical and wonders whether animals have the ‘capacity to reason like this.’
Photos show the lion attacking the antelope’s neck, killing it within a few minutes.
“I decided to take pictures when I realised this was an unusual scene with predator and prey being so close in a standoff. I knew there was going to be action.
“My initial reaction was that the lion probably had eaten recently and wasn’t hungry. It appeared as if the oryx cow realised this and did not feel threatened by sharing the same shade of the tree.
“This rationale did however not make sense as the lion is a predator and will catch its prey out of instinct. So I was puzzled..”
The 55-year-old photographer shared the photos online. One Facebook user commented: “Probably better for her [to be killed by the lion], with a broken leg, she would have suffered. It looks like she even went towards the lioness.”
Another wrote: “Well, I’ve seen something similar a couple of years ago in Botswana. A wounded hyena was killed by a lion, and it really looked as if the hyena just wanted to die… The hyena was waiting for the lion to come and get him, and the hyena didn’t even fight.”
Johan added: “Some have wondered if the oryx knew she was going to die… but I am not sure animals have the capacity to reason like that.
“Most people reacted with empathy and sympathy for the oryx because of the suffering and violence of the attack.
“We should, however, guard against attaching human emotions to the situation and appreciate this is nature where survival of the fittest is key. We are human and we tend to attach our human emotions to the event.
“Others, with a deeper understanding of nature, reacted with a level of amazement at how quick and efficient the kill happened with minimal effort from the lion and minimal suffering from the oryx.”
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