Daring Escape: Tiny Tortoise Traverses Napping Lion in the African Wild!

An astounding encounter between a brazen tortoise and a napping lion in the South African wilderness was recently caught on camera by a seasoned wildlife guide.

The tortoise showed extraordinary courage when it climbed over a sleeping lion to escape a difficult situation.

Watch the video at the end.


Caught between two lions resting after feasting on Buffalo carcasses, the tortoise sought to secure its freedom by crossing the sprawled limbs of the so-called ‘king of the jungle.’

Johan Adolf Smalman, 35, a respected guide based in Hoedspruit, South Africa’s Limpopo province, recalled the remarkable episode.

He said, “We were observing a pride of lions resting post their buffalo feast. That’s when I spotted a Spekes Hinged Tortoise, seemingly stuck amidst the lions.”


Smalman’s photographs depict the tortoise as it assesses the challenge ahead, contemplating the sleeping lion’s limbs as its potential path to safety.

Emulating the audacity of a daredevil, the tortoise mounted the lion, hoping against hope not to rouse the dormant beast.

Left: The tortoise assesses its options and determines climbing over the legs of the sleeping lion is its best option. Right: Making its move, the tortoise climbs up onto the sleeping Lion, likely hoping not to disturb it.

Fortune favored our adventurous tortoise, as it did not stir the sleeping lion during its daring maneuver.


While its descent was somewhat clumsy – resulting in a face-first tumble into the sand – the tortoise successfully evaded its precarious predicament.


Watch the video below:

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