The classic action movie moment lasted up to 10 minutes when 16 lions tried to hunt a 1-ton buffalo, but all the lions’ efforts became in vain because the buffalo escaped unharmed.

This is the brutal moment three lionesses launch themselves at a huge buffalo as they teach their cubs how to hunt.

A sequence of mesmerising photographs show the buffalo scarpering as one of the lionesses flips through the air trying to sink its teeth into the beast.

Another shows her clinging on to the buffalo’s front legs with her claws digging in but the Cape Buffalo, which can weigh between 500 to 1,000kg, manages to flee unharmed.

The images were taken at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Photographer Michael Mansell, 40, from Tucson, Arizona, said: ‘This was a massive Cape buffalo and the mother lionesses were training their cubs showing them how to take down a buffalo.

‘If they can successfully roll the buffalo then the rest of the lions can jump on it for a successful kill. They didn’t manage to do this and it actually ended with the hyenas chasing it across the river.

‘It was a tense moment lasting about five to 10 minutes and involving around 16 lions.’

A lioness flips through the air as she tries to sink her teeth into the neck of a huge buffalo at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

The big cats were hunting the prey in front of their cubs to teach them how to hunt. The mesmerising images show the queens of the jungle leaping through the air

One of the cats grazes the Cape Buffalo, which can weigh between 500 to 1,000kg, with her claws and teeth but the prey manages to flee unharmed

Photographer Michael Mansell, 40, from Tucson, Arizona, said: ‘This was a massive Cape buffalo and the mother lionesses were training their cubs showing them how to take down a buffalo’

He continued: ‘If they can successfully roll the buffalo then the rest of the lions can jump on it for a successful kill. They didn’t manage to do this and it actually ended with the hyenas chasing it across the river’

The photographer said the whole scene was ‘tense’ and last 10 minutes involving around 16 lions

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