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Far and Away Photographic Arts Photo Gallery :: Africa :: Namibia_Gemsbok_and_Lions_resting_at_waterhole_Andoni_Etosha_NP
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Old Lame Gemsbok at Andoni Waterhole with Lions just yards away; Etosha National Park, Namibia

Old Lame Gemsbok at Andoni Waterhole with Lions just yards away; Etosha National Park, Namibia

Description : So, after five minutes, the old gemsbok began drinking again, the lionesses ambled over the other side of the waterhole – less than 8 meters away – and also laid down together and had a drink too. After thirty minutes, the old gemsbok laid-down next to the water and took a nap! The lionesses dozed too, and the other gemsbok seemed very agitated, wanting to come to the rescue of their comrade, who confused them too by not running away. The strong male gemsboks would inch towards their old friend to within 50 meters, but whenever the lionesses sat up or rolled over or even twitched, they would all dash away.

There I sat too, for over 2 ˝ hours waiting for the final kill in the mid-day heat. But nothing happened. After an hour’s nap, the old gemsbok got up and started drinking again, making no attempt to get away. He seemed to be saying “Yeah, I know you are gonna eat me – you can see I can’t run away – but, damn it, I’m gonna have myself a nice long cool drink and I ain’t gonna be afraid, ‘cause I know I’m gonna die and that’s just the way it is!” The lionesses just casually watched him there drinking; perhaps they thought a well-hydrated and rested prey might taste better…

Back at camp, I mentioned the incident to other visitors and the next day I passed buy a group I had told about the brave old gemsbok and they said that they had visited the same waterhole the following morning and there, 50 meters from the waterhole, were the lionesses finishing off the remains of a gemsbok with a split horn. The lions had made the kill overnight and the other animals were still waiting to drink…

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