“This is a miracle,” one observer can be heard saying in the video below as the calf stands in Kenya’s Masai Mara.
In the footage, shot by Don Heyneke and Rustom Framjee, a lion began stalking the mother and baby for several miles, according to Latest Sightings. The protective mom accidentally bumped the calf into a ravine, and the predator pounced. It clamped onto the neck of the baby and dragged its body.
The young giraffe’s life appeared over as the lion left it at the water’s edge. The mother emerged repeatedly to chase away the determined hunter.
“At this point, we thought the calf was 100% dead,” Heyneke told Latest Sightings. “To everyone’s surprise, it stood up but not for very long, as the calf ended up finding safety in the river where it fell asleep from exhaustion. The baby giraffe, with a fight for survival like no one has ever seen before, drowned.”
Lions tend to focus their giraffe attacks on the sick and the young, according to Ranger Planet. About 3 in 4 giraffes don’t make it to adulthood because of attacks by lions and other predators, the website said.
This baby giraffe fought hard to be an exception, but it had already suffered too many injuries from the lion.