In the Spring of 2007 what would become one of YouTube's hottest videos was posted, ‘The Battle at Kruger’. The clip, seen 35 million times and counting, captures an amazing predator encounter as lions and a crocodile fight over a buffalo calf in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The dramatic eight-minute clip that enthralled the world was filmed by an amateur whilst on safari. It’s the type of encounter that National Geographic filmmakers spend years trying to capture, with unexpected twists and turns of nature. In Autumn 2004, David Budzinski, a supply manager working for Chevron on a safari in Kruger National Park with friend Jason Schlosberg, filmed what could be some of the wildest footage ever seen. We take the men back to Kruger to recount the attack they witnessed.
This is the Battle at Kruger. This is an amazing battle between a pride of lions and a heard of buffalo. When the lions capture the baby buffalo, they think the battle is over - but really it's just begun. An army of buffaloes come back in a mobilized front to take the baby back. For good measure, a couple of crocodiles join the foray, but don't make much of an impact.
Taken from a vehicle on the opposite side of the watering hole, the video begins with the herd of buffalo approaching the water, unaware of the lions resting nearby. The lions charge and disperse the herd, picking off a young buffalo and knocking it into the water. While trying to drag the buffalo out of the water, it is grabbed by a pair of crocodiles, who fight strenuously for it before giving up and leaving it to the lions. The lions sit down and prepare to eat, but are quickly surrounded by the reorganized buffalo, who move in and start kicking at the lions. After a battle which includes one lion being tossed through the air, the baby buffalo (who is miraculously still alive) escapes into the herd. The emboldened buffalo chase the remainder of the lions away. It is not known if the youngster survived the ordeal.