In the Serengeti grasslands, the lion is known to be one of the most feared predators. With their superior strength, they can ᴋɪʟʟ many large animals, such as antelopes, zebras, elephants, buffaloes, and hippos… for food.
However, when they are not experienced enough to ʜᴜɴᴛ and lack determination, young lions are very likely to fail when ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ, especially when faced with ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs animals such as scimitar oryx.
The pair of lions had no trouble catching the scimitar oryx. But as soon as they knocked their prey down, they ᴘᴀɴɪᴄᴋᴇᴅ and ran away. Why so?
The scimitar oryx possesses long, thin, symmetrical horns up to 1.2m long. When a lion ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋs, an antelope will use its horns to sᴛʀɪᴋᴇ the predator and fend it off. The sharp tips and sturdy base of the horns give the scimitar oryx the ability to inflict serious ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ on a lion, deterring it from pursuing its prey. This is a mighty defensive ᴡᴇᴀᴘᴏɴ that all predators are ᴀꜰʀᴀɪᴅ of. Therefore, when the scimitar oryx counterattacked, the pair of lions panicked and hurriedly ran away.
Lions are known for their strength and hunting skills, but scimitar oryx are challenging targets. Scimitar oryx are quick and agile, able to escape ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ by outrunning lions or jumping over obstacles. When cornered, however, an antelope will use its horns to ꜰɪɢʜᴛ back. The horns are positioned to sᴛʀɪᴋᴇ the lion from any angle, making it difficult for the predator to approach without being ɪɴᴊᴜʀᴇᴅ. The horns also leverage the antelope, allowing it to push the lion away or even toss it over its shoulder.
The scimitar oryx was once typical throughout North Africa. They are starting to decline as a result of climate change. After that, they were also widely ʜᴜɴᴛᴇᴅ for their horns. Today, scimitar oryx are kept in captivity in many special reserves in Tunisia, Morocco, and Senegal. The scimitar oryx was domesticated in ancient Egypt to provide food and sacrifices to the gods. The old Roman elite also kept this species.
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