The Karate Calf? Watch This Baby Giraffe Kick a Lion Into the Air!


Mother Nature can be absolutely brutal when different kinds of animals encounter one another. That’s because everyone in nature is part of a food chain. It’s eat or be eaten out in the wild, and when a predator meets prey, there is usually nothing the prey can do about it.

Every now and then, though, Mother Nature finds a way to surprise us. This happened recently when a lion decided to attack a baby giraffe. We expected the giraffe to be the lion’s midday meal, but the would-be snack warded off its attacker by kicking him into the air

What’s the story behind this “karate calf,” and how did this unexpected animal encounter end? Keep reading to discover the answers!

A simple tour through the game reserve…or is it?

Like many of the craziest stories, this tale begins on what was meant to be an average day in a very unassuming place. The Kapama Private Game Reserve is located in South Africa, and it’s the perfect place for people who want to get up close and personal with nature.

Sometimes, though, getting “up close” means getting a little too close to the action. A couple of tour guides were guiding their group through the area when they had to stop for the most unexpected reason: a lion was blocking the middle of the road. They could see the lion looking eagerly into the brush, and that’s when they knew what was happening: they just happened upon the king of the jungle when he was closing in on his next meal.

That’s when they spotted the giraffe that he wanted to snack on. But this encounter didn’t end how everyone expected, and it wasn’t even the craziest showdown between giraffe and lion they would see this day!

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Two very different encounters

When the tour groups saw the lion and the giraffe, they understandably thought the two were about to have a fight…one that the giraffe was destined to lose. Soon, though, they made an incredible discovery: both of these two animals were watching some other action unfold rather than getting ready for a fight!

What were the giraffe and lion looking at so intently? In short, they were looking at their friends. Specifically, they were watching as a baby giraffe was running away from a completely different lion. And if the grown giraffe didn’t have much of a chance against this large predator, everyone assumed the baby giraffe would have no chance at all.

Fortunately, they couldn’t have been more wrong. And this is where the story takes a wholesome twist that we had to see to believe!

The baby giraffe makes his move!

The entire scene couldn’t be more of a thrilling nail-biter if it was a major Hollywood production. The other lion was chasing the baby giraffe through the bushes, clearly intent on chasing down a quick meal. But this meal was a bit too quick: he managed to make it out of the bushes and into the road, giving the tour guides and tour group a perfect view of the action.

Unfortunately, the first lion also had a perfect view, and he started moving into position. His plan was obvious: he was going to cut the running prey off so he’d be stuck between two lions with nowhere to run. But this was when the baby giraffe hatched the most unexpected plan of all: when he encounters the lion in the road trying to block him, he suddenly kicks the lion into the air!

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Are giraffe kicks very strong?

One of the reasons the giraffe’s kick took everyone by surprise is that nobody expected it to be quite so strong. It’s a lot of strength coming from a (relatively) little package! And that brings us to the big question: just how strong is a giraffe’s kick?

On the high end, it’s possible for giraffes to kick with 2,000 PSI power, which is a fancy way of saying that a giraffe’s kick can hit with a maximum impact of 2,000 pounds of force per square inch. This is one of the reasons that a full-strength giraffe kick is capable of killing a lion outright.

We doubt the baby giraffe was kicking with anything close to 2,000 PSI, but it was certainly enough to knock the lion blocking him into the air. And the whole incident is a reminder that when predators underestimate their prey, they often end up paying for it.

The chase continues

Unfortunately, the video ends shortly after the baby giraffe’s kick. And while that kick seemed to take the first lion out of commission, the video ends with the other lion chasing the reunited giraffe duo down the road.

We’re not quite sure how things ended between the predator and its intended prey. But after seeing “the karate calf” in action, we’re confident that these two giraffes are more than capable of holding their own if they have to!

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