Lions Scramble for Safety: Startled Pride Climbs Tree to Escape Charging Elephant

An extraordinary scene unfolded in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area when a pride of lions sought refuge in a tree to escape a charging elephant.

Indian wildlife photographer Zhayynn James captured the breathtaking moment, showcasing the lions’ reaction to the surprising confrontation.

The lions scrambled up the tree and eventually settled on the same branch after being charged at by a protective female elephant. Source: Daily Mail

The pride, consisting of adult and younger lionesses, had been resting under Acacia trees when a large herd of African elephants approached.


The matriarch likely caught the scent of the lions and decided to investigate, suspecting them as potential threats to her pack.

Photographer Zhayynn James, from India, captured the dramatic scene in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Source: Daily Mail

Upon spotting the lions, the elephant charged, prompting the startled felines to scramble up the tree safely. The rest of the elephant herd followed, trumpeting their displeasure.

The lions climbed onto different branches, initially almost falling over each other in their haste to get away.


After chasing the lions off, the elephants moved away, leaving the pride to watch warily from their unusual perch.

James said the lions climbed gingerly up the tree, heading onto different branches before all decided to lounge on the same branch. Source: Daily Mail
James said the adult lionesses and some younger lions were lounging under Acacia trees when the elephant confronted them. Source: Daily Mail
Source: Daily Mail
James described it as a ‘surreal experience’ and said he considers himself blessed for having witnessed it while on safari. Source: Daily Mail
James said the large herd of adult elephants and their calves arrived, and the matriarch decided to charge in case they were a threat. Source: Daily Mail

James, who happened to be in the right place at the right time, called it a “surreal experience” and expressed gratitude for witnessing such a rare spectacle of nature.

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