By Rebecca Lewis @RebeccaSLewis

A LIONESS is thrown into the air as an angry buffalo fights off a vicious attack.

Scroll down for the full story

The astonishing pictures were taken as three lions ambushed a lone buffalo.

The buffalo escapes into the distance and leaves the lionesses in peace

While such a situation may signal the end for the beast the buffalo fought back and managed to launch one of the lionesses into the air during the scuffle.

The buffalo bucks its back legs and throws the lioness into the air

The three lions were tending to their young cubs in the reeds in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, on July 19.

The lionesses try to corner the buffalo - but the animal manages to escape

But the big cats tensed when the large bull strolled into the area. Two lionesses tried to force the buffalo away from the cubs but soon the third lion joined the fray.

Fast food: The lions pursue the buffalo

The trio tried to bring down the buffalo but the large animal was too big a match for the felines.

The lionesses remain in hot pursuit of the escaping buffalo

One cat sunk its claws into the back of the buffalo but the horned animal kicked up its hind legs and threw the lion into the air before escaping.

One of the lionesses is forced into the air after the buffalo bucks its back legs

Laurent Renaud and Dominique Haution, teachers from France, said: “Lions and buffalos are always in conflict.

Laurent Renaud and Dominique Haution witnessed the animal attack

“The buffalos never tolerate the presence of the lions.

The lionesses had several cubs that were hidden in the reeds. They didn’t want to leave the place.

One of the lionesses manages to leap onto the buffalo

“When the third lioness left the reeds, the attitude of the lionesses changed. It was not a game.

 

A lioness latches onto the back of the buffalo

“Was it in order to try to kill and eat it? It’s difficult to say.

The lionesses tried to corner the buffalo with little success

“It was a very big bull and for only three lionesses it was quite difficult to bring down this buffalo.”