Hundreds of buffaloes have drowned in a river in southern Africa in a desperate attempt to escape a lion's pride.
Graphic images depict dozens of buffalo carcasses floating in the river. Other pictures show how people cut up the remains of animals for meat.
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The Serondela Lodge in Namibia posted a dead buffalo's video on Thursday on their Facebook page. 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 #tragedy that took place a few miles west of the lodge on #choberiver Namibian banks," wrote the lodge. It was explained that a large herd of about 1,000 buffaloes was hunted by lions for the river Chobe. However, the shore on the Namibian side of the river was too high for the buffalo. "They drowned, who knows how long and how much panic, stress and pain," said the lodge.
The lodge, opened in March 2018, is located opposite Chobe National Park, which is on the other side of Botswana's Chobe River. According to the lodge's website, the area is known for being a major "elephant corridor" and a place where lions hunt their prey.
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"Initial investigations by authorities on both sides of the border between Botswana and Namibia suggest that an exceptionally large herd of buffaloes grazed in Namibia than they did in the Chobe River, "said the Ministry of Environment in Botswana in a statement released Wednesday. "The cause of the stampede is still uncertain and is under investigation, but the first signs are that they were hunted by a lion's pride."
Officials estimate that more than 400 animals drowned in the river. "The carcasses have been largely disposed of, most of them harvested by members of the community living along the Namibian river," added the Environment Ministry.
The ministry said mass drinking is not uncommon in the Chobe River. The owner of Serondela Lodge, Simone Micheletti, told the BBC that the level of mass drinking this week was surprising. Before the incident this week, the biggest drowning he was aware of was about 50 buffaloes.
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The dead buffalo swimming in the Chobe River the next morning.
Cloudy conditions that blocked the moonlight on Tuesday night may have contributed, according to Micheletti, that the buffalo might not be able to see.
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