Waterbuck on the Menu

Waterbuck are generally known not to be high on the menu for lions, due to an oily secretion from a sweat gland that helps waterproof the buck when it enters the water and which is said to ruin the taste.

However, I would have to disagree. On a game drive late one evening in July we came to a small, dried up lagoon. All of a sudden we spotted a lioness in the beam of our spotlight crouched in front of a wall of grass that surrounded the dambo. It was clear from her posture she was waiting to pounce on whatever the rest of the pride managed to chase in her direction.

Within a few minutes we heard a rustling coming from the tall grass, then all of a sudden a magnificent male waterbuck followed by two other lionesses burst through the grass curtain. Immediately the lioness in waiting sprang into action and latched onto the antelope.

Within seconds all female members of the Hollywood pride were on hand to subdue the waterbuck. As soon as it was on the ground the cubs, followed by the pride’s two adult males, joined the fray and began to eat.

It did not take long before every member of the pride was tucking in with apparent disregard for the awful taste of the waterbuck. This is not the first time that I have seen waterbuck preyed on in this part of Africa so either the lion in the South Luangwa do not have particularly fussy taste buds or maybe the waterbuck are not that bad to eat after all.