Never in my guiding experience did I expect bushbuck to take preference over a male lion. Yesterday, we were following up on reports of a male lion roaring. Subsequently another ranger found the lion but as we came around the corner we stumbled on the most vicious fight I have ever witnessed between 2 antelope.
Two male bushbuck were locked in a fierce battle. They did not even separate as we came around the corner and into their arena. The two males were equally pitted with one holding his back hair on edge. The males twisted and violently shoved one another back and forth, across the road and into the clearing. The sound of their horns clashing and their rasping breath was all we could hear.
Our focus was so intent on their battle we did not notice the heat of the sun or the birds calling. After about 10 minutes of witnessing the fight the one that seemed to be winning managed to force the male with the lighter brown coat over a log. It then tripped but this seemed to signal the end of the fight. The stronger male continued to horn his opponent on the ground. The loser got up and limped a few yards and the victor followed close behind.
Both males were rasping for breath and were so exhausted that even the action of walking seemed too much for them. The victor continued to follow his opponent for over 500 metres when we left them. The victor walked with a large slash across his nose and wounds on his neck were dripping blood. The loser was injured too and his neck was also cut from the sharp horns of the triumphant winner. He also walked with a limp where he had fallen over the log.
Posted: Kirkman's Kamp by Anton Walker, Date: 22 March 2011