These amazing shots show a fight to the death between hippo and two lions.
Having waited for it to get clear of its bolt-hole, the lions pounce and the plucky juvenile hippo puts up a fight, chasing them away.
a fight between hippo and two lions
Fight to the death: A lion gets onto the hippo’s back and the other attacks from the front in South Africa
But the water is shallow and the lions manage to flip the hippo over and drown it, before they are joined by a third lion for dinner.
‘I followed the noise and saw the young hippo between three to five-years-old in shallow water surrounded by the three lions.
‘Every time the hippo wanted to get away, the lions would go for him and he would then retreat back into the water.
‘I think the lions attacked the hippo earlier than when I got there. And the hippo had managed to get into the pool of water that was too deep for the lions to go into.
Law of the jungle two lions stalk the hippo
One of the lions ventures into the water in the Sabi Sands Game reserve, but is chased out
‘This carried on for a while and then the lions went to lay down on a rock close to the water’s edge.
About two hours passed and eventually the hippo slowly emerged from the water.
‘The hippo seemed not to see the lions crouched close by as they were very still and did not move.
Waiting game: The two lions lie in wait behind a rock as the stand-off continues into daylight
Forced out of his bolthole and onto dry land, the hippo is set upon by a vicious lion
A lion leaps onto the hippo’s back as the other one circles with intent. Blood can been seen on the target’s back
‘It looked around and all seemed clear, so he started walking away. The lions waited until he got about 50m from the pool of water before chasing after him.
‘At this point the hippo realised he was in trouble and headed for the river with both lions attached.
Both of the beasts are now in on the action with one on the hippo’s back and the other biting it
The hippo, still under attack, makes a dash back into the water in an attempt to escape
A third lion enters the fray, leaping into the water to attack the hippo
‘They then flipped it over onto its back and held the hippo upside down in the water until it stopped moving, before they started to eat it.’
Mr Schoeman added: ‘I have never seen anything like this before. Lions are very opportunistic and will catch what they can whenever they can.
It’s three versus one now as the lions claws at the injured hippo in the pond. There is now no escape
the hippo lies stricken underwater as two of the lions sink their teeth into it
Game over: Lions 1, hippo 0 as the poor creature is devoured in the water. It did put up quite a fight though
‘I believe there are certain prides of lions that have learned to catch hippos. But it is by no means a common occurrence.
‘To be able to witness something like this in all its rawness was an amazing experience. It shows the true power of our natural world as well as these magnificent lions.
‘Although it is not pleasant to see animals die and get killed it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Mr Schoeman lives in Nelspruit South Africa, but has worked in lodges in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana.