Mother Nature isn’t the kind-hearted, elderly matron that the hippies make her out to be. She’s, in fact, a remorseless, half-insane danger junkie with a taste for blood and death that would make an Ancient Roman wince. Don’t believe me? Then check out these ten scenes of animals pitted against each other in brutal combat, with Mother Nature watching from the sides and cheering wildly the entire time.
10. Bear vs. Tigers
It was just another, typical day for Maggie the bear (name changed to protect her identity), and she was just chilling out near the local watering hole in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India, when the unthinkable happened: a tiger appeared! Needless to say, Maggie was very surprised by this turn of events but didn’t let it show as she immediately charged the approaching feline and utterly kicked its fuzzy little behind. She then did it again, when a second tiger appeared to save his pal. Man, two tigers in one day? What is this, some kind of Tiger Reserve?
The whole situation was captured on film by Aditya Singh, but what you can’t see in the pictures is that Maggie attacked the ferocious tigers first to protect her two young cubs. Sometimes… a mother’s love can be a powerful thing. Also: “full of teeth and sharp claws.”
9. Lionesses vs. Lionesses
I know what you’re thinking. “Why is TopTenz showing me a screencap of a deleted scene from ‘Gladiator’? Also, should I get this growth on my neck checked out?” The answer to both of your questions is “no” (OK, so the first one wasn’t really a “yes or no” question but shut up, I’m trying to make a point). What you are seeing up there is actually a bunch of lionesses from the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya having the most epic cat fight in the history of cat fights.
The picture was taken by wildlife photographer Steve Bloom who unfortunately could not confirm what the lionesses were fighting about. But I bet it started with a passive aggressive comment about how one of them has started to go a little grey-furred before the whole thing escalated into “The Real Housewives of the Serengeti.”
8. Eagle vs. Fox
Quick question: you are a majestic, deadly Golden Eagle enjoying a plateful of mouth-watering half-frozen-animal-carcass-on-the-ground, when a scrawny fox comes over and tries to join in on the feast. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!
The answer: you grab that sucker by its hind legs and attempt to give it a quick first lesson in flying (warning: there is no lesson #2). And that’s exactly what is happening in this 2006 picture taken by Finish photographer Pekka Komi.
Please pay close attention to the fox’s expression here. If there ever was a more perfect example of an “Oh crap, maybe I shouldn’t have done this” face, I’ve yet to see it.
7. Zebra vs. Zebra
Zebras—generally recognized as the effeminate, gay cousin of the horse—are second only to panda bears on the list of animals you’re least likely to have nightmares about. Or at least they were before photographer Winfried Wisniewski came and ruined everything with this picture.
Just look at those two magnificent zebra bastards. There’s nothing cute or adorable about them. That’s pure, unrefined hatred and bloodlust in their eyes, and actual blood in their teeth. The scene was captured on film in Tanzania when the two males were fighting for supremacy in their herd, with their battle allegedly lasting for HOURS. It’s unclear whether the winner then ripped out the loser’s heart and ate it but I will go ahead and assume that, yes, that’s exactly what happened.
6. Zebra vs. Lion
Huh…you know what? Considering the previous picture, this one doesn’t even faze me that much. More so, considering that both of them were taken at the exact same place – the Ngorongoro Conservation area in Tanzania. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that zebra up there was the winner of the duel from the previous entry.
Immortalized by wildlife fanatic Thomas Whetten, the scene in the picture seems pretty self-explanatory. The lion was obviously all “Hey, zebra, Im’a eat u, K?” but then the Zebra was all like “ZEBRA KARATE” and wham, off goes the lion’s jaw. Like I said, pretty self-explanatory.
5. Wolf vs. Bear
Here’s a fun exercise. Take a look at this picture, quickly realize that it’s timed so perfectly it could easily have come from a Disney movie, and try to come up with a caption for it in the comments. The winner wins a year-long trip around the Sun. This one’s from me: “I LOVED HER, YOU BASTARD!”
A little background for the picture to get you in the creative mood: the photo was taken by Flickr user Anne-Marie Kalus in 2011, and shows a wolf challenging a bear to a fight over Bambi’s mother’s corpse. For the purposes of this contest, we will assume that the bear’s name is Trevor.
4. Crocodile vs. Hippos
The hippo is probably the greatest secretly badass animal in history. Yes it’s pudgy and goofy-looking, but it’s also one of the fiercest and deadliest predators on the African continent. So, you’d assume that other residents of Africa, like the crocodile, would have heard enough about hippos to not go out of their way to piss them off. Apparently this croc did not get the memo.
The scene captured in the image above by Vaclav Silha shows a crocodile that ventured too close to a herd of hippopotami, was quickly surrounded by them and then proceeded to lose his freaking mind. Seeing no other alternative, the outnumbered reptile actually tried to escape with his life by climbing over the attacking hippos’ backs.
You know what? I take back what I said about #8. This is the perfect example of an “Oh crap, maybe I shouldn’t have done this” face.
3. Hippo vs. Lionesses
“Open the door, hippo! It’s the Karma Police!” Here we see another work by Steve Bloom, this time showing a hippo who ventured a little too far away from the water and was suddenly surrounded by a pride of lionesses, all while being presumably taunted with “You’ve come to the wrong neighborhood, buddy.”
The gals then proceeded to maul the hippo to death and, by the looks of it, the hippo just sat there and took it like a chump. It’s probably worth mentioning that the lionesses did not attack him for food or anything like that; during that time there were loads of zebras or wildebeests around. No…they apparently tortured the hippo to death just for the fun of it. B***hes be crazy, yo.
2. Elephant vs. Crocodile
One time in Zambia, Martin Nyfeler decided to photograph a mother elephant with her child, when he captured something far more powerful: a selfless act of motherly love…as a killer crocodile jumped out of the water and tried to eat the baby elephant.
His mom, luckily, was having none of that nonsense. With the powerful jaws of the crocodile locked tightly around her nose, the mother elephant began to pull the croc away as far away from her child and the water as possible. For a long time, the reptile wouldn’t let go of her, probably constantly pleading with the mom with lines like “Come on, I’ll only eat him a LITTLE.” Still refusing to let the mama go, the crocodile was finally pulled out of water and the elephants made their escape. Since that day, the baby elephant has never refused to eat all of his vegetables or brush his teeth.
1. Buffalo vs. Lions vs. Crocodiles
And to cap off this tour de fear, we have a video! This particular animal fight came to be known as “The Battle at Kruger” but that’s only because the people who filmed it apparently have no imagination. This thing should clearly have been called “Battle Royale: Africa.”
The fight was filmed in 2004 at the Transport Dam watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, by David Budzinski and Jason Schlosberg and, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that the whole thing was staged because it is just so perfect. The video kicks off with a couple of lions approaching a herd of Cape Buffalo and ganging up on a young calf because, as we’ve clearly established, lions are dicks. Then, when they accidentally knock the buffalo into the water, two crocodiles try to muscle in on their kill, and a regular tug of war between the lions and the crocs begins.
As the young buffalo was undoubtedly pondering just how many toddlers he must have murdered in its previous life to deserve this faith, the lions won the contest and were ready to eat the hell out of their prey. That’s when the buffalo herd returned and the whole scene went from Saw to Braveheart.
The charging buffalo attacked the lions like an angry hammer of the gods, even sending one of them FLYING into the air. And here’s the bizarrely happy ending: the young buffalo lived and even got to witness his herd chasing away the lingering lion, probably hurling insults at them the entire way.