Terrifying scenes show a lion cub fighting for his life after a two-hour fight with an older lion and being rescued from the attack by two lionesses in the pride.

These dramatic images show a young lion fighting for his life after a two-hour battle with an older male.

In the incredible series of pictures, the bloodied lion bares his teeth and raises its claws in an attempt to take on the older male in Cheetah Plains, South Africa.

But the youngster’s opponent is too strong for him – landing blow after blow with his enormous claws.

Savage: A male lion stands on his back legs and shows his teeth during a vicious fight in Cheetah Plains, South Africa

Agression: The younger male, determined to put up a good fight, stands his ground and roars at his opponent

Pounce: The younger male, who is covered in blood and has numerous deep wounds to his chest, launches at the older lion

The two stand on their hind legs, almost like humans, and wrestle chest to chest.

At one point, the young lion launches himself at his opponent – but his attack seems to have little benefit.

Despite inflicting a series of deep wounds, the older male is unrelenting – and the newcomer appears to be moments from defeat.

But just as the youngster prepares for one last stand, two females swoop in and come to his rescue.

Keeping watch: Two females arrive but keep their distance just as the older male, right lands a heavy blow on his young opponent

The cavalry: The females from the young lion’s pride begin to circle the fighting pair who continue to take swipes at one another

 

In on the action: The females edge closer to the action, and growl at the wrestling males

In need of a hand: The young male, looking tired and on the edge of defeat, cowers at his opponent stands tall

The female duo first circle the fighting pair, as if to assess the situation.

Then one launches into the action, and swipes her claw at the youngster’s opponent.

At one point, the young lion and the two females stand in a row and all show their teeth during the dramatic showdown.

Eventually, the two males calm down and the four seem to rest for just a moment.

The male then walks off and takes a drink at a watering hole.

Involved: One of the females strikes out at the older male, while the other appears to be moments from pouncing

Pick on someone your own size! The three lions outnumber the older male and roar at him in unison

 

The young male is part of a pride of two adult females, two sub-adult females and another sub-adult male.

The lone male had been mating with the two older females, but the area is surrounded by other male coalitions – some six-strong – who could easily sweep him aside.

Photographer Justin Glanvill described the action as ‘spectacular’.

He said: ‘The sounds were overpowering and the pure aggression and the sustained onslaught from the older male was amazing to witness.

‘But the amount of heart the young male lion had was also unbelievable – he stood up to a much older and stronger male and fought with all his might.

‘There was lots of growling and snarling and then all hell broke loose.

‘The older male caught the young male and proceeded to hit him with a barrage of shots. Then he had him on the ground where he inflicted more damage to the young male’s belly.

Defeat: The trio force the male to stand down, although tensions still seem to be high

Calm: In a less frantic photo, the male looks at his young opponent as if to see if he is ok

‘The females then came to the rescue, attacking the older male.’

However, Mr Glanvill, 29, believes that far from wanting to kill, the larger lion may have been trying to form a coalition.

Mr Glanvill, a field guide at Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve, in South Africa, added: ‘Forming a coalition with the younger males would make sense, as otherwise he doesn’t stand a chance.’

But judging by these photographs the roaring younger male was driving a hard bargain and only time will tell if they will form a bond.

It’s all over: The older lion eventually walks off to a nearby watering hole and takes a drink after his fight

 

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