The stunning sight was captured by Indian photographer Zhayynn James at Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
After being startled by a herd of elephants, he captured the dramatic moment a flock of lions dashed up a tree.
‘I was on a wildlife photography trip when we came across a pack of mature lionesses and some cubs relaxing beneath the cover of Acacia tree,’ the 40-year-old explained.
The shy cats were resting in the bushes as they were frightened by the herd’s leader and took safety in the tree’s limbs.
When the frightened lions climbed up the tree to safety, the guard elephant rushed at them.
After being attacked by a female elephant guard, the lions scattered up the tree and ended up resting on the same branch.
According to James, the lions cautiously made their way up the tree, landing on several limbs before deciding to rest on the same perch.
“Furthermore, there was a big herd of African elephants and their calves – the matriarch most likely smelled lions and went to investigate in case they were a threat.” When she saw a pride of lions, she screamed and charged at them, causing the animals to run away.’
“James” said: “When the elephant approached the older lionesses and a few cubs, they were resting under the Acacia trees. The matriarch chose to attack in the case where the herd of adult elephants is large, and their offspring posed a threat.”
James said the rest of the herd arrived a few seconds later.
He said: ‘They all trumpeted their displeasure at the lions. The lions all crept up the tree, heading up different branches before they all decided to lie down on the same branch.
‘They almost acrobatic with each other to escape the elephant herds, nearly falling off a tree in the process – they were keeping a close eye on the elephants, which walked away after chasing the lions away.’ And I feel so fortunate to have watched such amazing natural history unfold in front of my eyes.’
The lions nearly fell on top of each other to escape the elephants and nearly fell from trees in the process, James said.
Elephants have never been considered the “king of the jungle” because they don’t eat other animals. But the truth is that they are as close to the king as you will see. It is the only animal the lion will yield to. Elephants won’t accept lions around their young for obvious reasons. I love them both, beautiful animals, but my heart aches for the plight of elephants. These beautiful animals must be saved from 𝑝𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠
Both species are gorgeous and a joy to watch!!!!