Heroic Lioness Battles Crocodile to Secure Her Cubs’ Safe River Passage

Casting her gaze across the water, the lioness spots a deadly adversary – a lurking crocodile in the river that her family must traverse.

Recognizing the danger, the mother lion fearlessly leaps into the waters to engage the threat, allowing her family to cross the river unharmed.

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Struggle: The power and strength of the mighty lioness is clear to see, but the crocodile fights back, clamping its teeth around the big cat’s nose

In an awe-inspiring spectacle, the brave lioness wraps her forelegs around the crocodile’s jaws, submerges it under the water, and then swiftly breaks away towards the river bank at Botswana’s Okavanga Delta.


Pia Dierickx, a wildlife photographer from Antwerp, Belgium, captured the lioness’ courageous act of diversion.

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Watchful: The lioness can be seen surveying the water as her pride waits to cross the river in Botswana’s Okavango Delta

She remarked on the animal’s astonishing speed, admitting that she only grasped the full extent of the event upon reviewing the photos on her camera.

Dierickx had been observing the lions in their natural habitat when the intense showdown between the lioness and the crocodile unfolded unexpectedly. She estimates that the encounter lasted a mere second.


Relating her experience, Dierickx explained, “I saw the lioness carefully stepping into the channel, followed by an enormous splash.” She captured the breathtaking event in six images taken within a single second.

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Lurking: The lioness spots the giant crocodile’s head partially submerged in the waters of the river
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Menace: The lioness bares her enormous fangs after spotting the crocodile in the river in Botswana

Fortuitously, the crocodile was unable to execute its infamous death roll. “The lioness managed to keep the crocodile’s mouth shut between her front legs, denying it the chance to launch an attack,” added Dierickx.

Upon revisiting her images, the photographer fully realized the gravity of the situation she had witnessed.


Happily, the story concluded positively as all the lionesses and their cubs made it safely to the other bank.

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Spring: The lioness springs from the water and into action as she prepares to battle to protect her cubs from the lurking crocodile
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Head to head: The photographer who captured these images said the struggle took place within a split second

On the other hand, the crocodile was left to swim away, having disrupted an otherwise serene day at the Okavanga Delta.

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Protective: The lioness succeeds in forcing the crocodile beneath the water
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Escape: Seizing her moment while the reptile is under the water, the lioness makes a break for dry land
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Escape: The lioness emerges safely on the other side of the river after bravely battling the crocodile to protect her pride
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Diversion: As the lioness struggled with the lurking reptile, the rest of the pride were able to cross the river in safety
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Battle wounds: The lioness was left bleeding after the crocodile clamped its jaws around her mouth

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