By Tom Gillespie @TomGillespie1

Hungry male lions wrestle with an antelope on a tarmac road, creating an unexpected display for waiting motorists

Scroll down for the full story




Gruesome twosome: The male lions paced the road before the kudu arrived

The two big cats were pacing along a road in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, when a kudu antelope emerged from the bushes.

Drivers on the busy route stopped to watch the predators in an unexpected display of their hunting prowess.

Surrounded: The lions circle the fallen kudu

As the kudu slipped on the tarmac surface, one of the lions pounced on his back.

The second lion went straight for the animal’s throat, resulting in its quick death.

Carolyn Dunford, 23 from Romsey in the UK, took these incredible photos while working as a wildlife researcher in South Africa.

Straight for the jugular: The second lion went directly for the throat

Carolyn said: “I encountered two large male lions and a queue of cars coming towards me on the road. I started turning my car to be able to follow them as well. 

“One of the lions spots the kudu in the bush and as a biologist I recognised this hunting stance so took photos of it.

Road to ruin: The kudu succumbs to the lions in front of stunned motorists

"I didnt know there was a kudu there at the time."

She went on: “The kudu sprang into the road towards the cars and slipped on the tar in its panic. Both lions pursued it around the cars. 

“With the kudu trying to regain its footing the lion grabbed it from behind.

The kudu had a very rough morning

Carolyn encountered the incredible scene while out on an early morning drive through Kruger National Park.

She added: “As a biologist I think an encounter like this is an amazing thing to see.

Licking its lips: One of the big cats seems content with his breakfast

“The second lion also gets a grip on the kudu, bringing it to the floor.

“He is the one to deal the killer blow. He holds the kudu's windpipe closed until it suffocates.

“It takes the kudu just a minute or so to die once it is down.”

Fighting stance: The lion reared up on its back legs to make the kill

“My passion is for large African predators and so it was a real privilege to see this hunt up close.

“I do feel for the kudu, but the lions must eat and so I just feel very lucky to have witnessed a hunt.

Eye witness: British-born Carolyn Dunford took the photos

“I was amazed by the power and teamwork the lions showed.

The kudu was no match for these amazing predators.”

Carolyn is spending a year in South Africa conducting wildlife research with various organisations, before starting a PhD at Queen's University in Belfast in September.

The focus of her study will be the behaviour of large African carnivores.