A Startling Jump by a Kudu to Escape a Lion


Jun 15 2015

A Startling Jump by a Kudu to Escape a Lion

This is a great 2013 throwback video clip from the Kruger on the H4-1 & H12 junction near Skukuza of a harrowing lion chase. Nearly upon its prey the kudu does an incredible long distance escape leap across the road. This is nothing unusual for the kudu, according to Trevor Carnaby, (author of Beat About the Bush) the kudu, along with the eland, are considered to be the best jumpers of local species.

Trevor explains, 'Adults supposedly are able to clear 3 m-high obstacles from just standing”. As is indicated in the clip he continues, “The faster they are moving when jumping, the lower they go, but the further they reach. This is used when trying to evade predators and is one of their best defence mechanisms along with their disruptive stripe colouration”.

The kudu is categorized by its slim body, long legs, large ears and brown fur with straight white torso stripes. This camouflage is a master key of survival in the bush against predators. The disruptive colouration in the form of lines merges them perfectly into their mottled environment by breaking their solid outline. The white stripes also resemble the troughs of vegetation being probed by light. The / kudu prefers dense bush, wooded foot hills of mountain areas, and open knobthorn woodlands.

Considering their long list of predators, including: lion; leopard; python; wild dogs; hyena and even cheetah, they certainly need all the defences they can get on their side. When threatened, the kudu will usually rather flight than fight. Although wounded bulls are known to charge predators and knock them with their powerful horn base. Wounded females however can keep running for kilometres without resting for more than a minute. They are also great kickers and are capable of breaking a wild dog's or jackal's neck or back.

Other Related Stories

Join the Conversation