Hundreds of buffalo have drowned in a river in southern Africa in a desperate attempt to escape the lion's pride.
Graphic pictures show tens of buffalo bodies floating in the river. Other pictures show that people cut up animal remains for meat.
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Serondela Lodge in Namibia uploaded a video of the dead buffalo on its Facebook page on Thursday. The lodge is located on the Namibian side of the Chobe River, which separates Namibia from its southern neighbor Botswana.
"Yesterday morning we witnessed a #dragen that happened a few miles west of the lodge on #banks of the # choberiver-namibian side," posted Lodge. A large crew of about 1000 buffaloes was chased by lions against the Chobe River, explained. However, the bank on the Namibian side of the river was too high for buffalo to scale. "They drowned after who knows how long and through how much panic, stress and pain," the lodge said.
Lodge, which opened in March 2018, faces Chobe National Park, located in Botswana on the other side of the Chobe River. The area is known to be a big "elephant corridor" and a place where the lion chases its prey, according to the Lodge website.
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"Initial investigations of authorities on both sides of Botswana / Namibia border indicate that an exceptionally large buffalo crew digs in Namibia when they stamped in the Chobe River, "said the Botswana Environment Ministry in a statement released on Wednesday. "The cause of the stamp day is still uncertain and under investigation are the first indications that they were chased by a lion shirt."
Officials estimate that more than 400 animals drowned in the river. "Carcases have been largely eliminated, most harvested by community members living along the river in Namibia," added the Ministry of the Environment.
The Ministry said that mass loss is not uncommon in the Chobe River. However, Serondela Lodge owner Simone Micheletti told the BBC that the extent of this week's mass drowning was surprising. Prior to this week's event, the biggest mass drink he is aware of was about 50 buffaloes.
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Micheletti said he heard the lion roaring on Tuesday night and saw the dead buffalo floating in the Chobe River the next morning.
Cloudy conditions that blocked the moonlight on Tuesday night may have contributed to mass loss, according to Micheletti, who noted that the buffalo might not have been able to see.
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