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Don’t play with your food! Five lion cubs stroke a baby giraffes back and neck before killing it

This is the shocking moment five young lions play with a live baby giraffe before killing it.

The pride of lions were caught on film by amateur photographer and doctor Desmond Chu, 47, on the Madikwe Game Reserve, in South Africa.

Footage shows the cubs brushing and stroking the giraffe’s back and neck before one of them bites at its neck and pulls it fully to the grassy ground.

The footage then jumps to where the giraffe, now dead, is being devoured by the young lions.

Dr Chu, from Sydney, Australia, said he was only 16 feet away from the lions as they caught and killed their prey.

His heartbreaking photos capture scenes from the giraffe’s death in stark detail.

One image shows a young lion with its face covered in blood as it briefly looks back at Dr Chu.

‘On the emotional side, I was conflicted. A young life was being killed, and it was distressingly graphic – in sight, sound and smell,’ said Dr Chu.

‘And yet there was a sense of majesty to see the lions – the king of the beasts – doing what we know they can do.

‘It was more shocking than I expected because of the age of the cubs. They were inexperienced hunters, and so struggled to kill the giraffe quickly.

‘The ordeal took almost ten minutes.’

While the morality rate for adult giraffes is very low, babies aged under six months in the wild have an infant mortality rate of almost 50 per cent.

Dr Chu estimates the cubs were four to six months old, while the giraffe was a few months younger.

‘The photo of the mother giraffe was taken before we witnessed the kill. She looked like no other giraffe we had seen – uneasy, and tense on her feet,’ he said.

‘Clearly her eyes were fixed on something afar.’

‘It was only when we investigated the sound of her calf that we realised the anguish she was experiencing.

‘At the time, it was just a picture of an animal with an unusual expression. But when the context was clear, it was indeed heart-breaking. We were brought to tears.

‘Those in our jeep were initially excited with anticipation, coming across what was expected to be a thrilling kill.

‘But then there was horror realising that the life of a cute young giraffe was about to be literally torn to shreds before our eyes.

‘To some, it was dreadful. Another nearby jeep turned away, as its guests could not bear to witness this gruesome sight.

‘To others, it was a fascinating process of nature taking place.

‘Regardless, it was a captivating moment that aroused diverse emotions in all.

‘What made it difficult for us humans to watch was that the giraffe was cute. There was a droning low-pitched moan by a young giraffe about to be devoured that I will never forget.

‘But yet on the other hand, there was a loving lioness that would be proud of her four cubs, learning to feed themselves through this kill.

‘The lions struggled to work out how to kill this young giraffe by biting the neck, and once finally achieved, feasted on their meal.

‘This process took an agonising nine minutes. Agonising, yet it is the intricate balance of the circle of life.’

You can follow the part-time photographer on Instagram @drdeschu.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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