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Tiny Crab Fends Off Pride Of Lions In South Africa

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Tiny Crab Fends Off Pride Of Lions In South Africa

A tiny crab managed to fend off a pride of lions as it tried to cross a river at a game reserve in South Africa - at one point even putting up its pincers as if to show it was prepared for a fight.

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The unlikely encounter was captured on camera at the MalaMala Game Reserve by rangers Ruggiero Barreto, 30, and Robyn Sewell, 27, who watched the drama as it unfolded.

Unusually, the freshwater crab had come out of its burrow during daylight, and was hoping to cross a river.

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However, as it went about its day, the small crustacean was spotted by the Kambula pride of lions and lionesses - who came over to take a look.

Credit: LatestSightings.com
Credit: LatestSightings.com

At first, one of the sub-adults moseyed over to examine the crab, which went up on its back legs and raised its pincers to intimate the predator.

Moments later, four other curious young lions joined, tentatively peering down at the crab as it kept them at bay with its snapping pincers.

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The 275lb lions proved wary of the crab and did little else than observe it as it moved across the sand, eventually making it back to its burrow.

Barreto and Sewell, who recorded the clip, told LatestSightings.com: "We left the camp at sun rise with the hope of finding lions and were lucky enough to find a pride at a riverbank.

Credit: LatestSightings.com
Credit: LatestSightings.com

"They were sheltering from the wind in the Mlowathi Riverbed and were sleeping so we thought we would drive on and look back a little later.

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"But suddenly we noticed one of the sub-adults get up and start staring at something and at first we thought it was a scorpion but it was a crab.

"They normally only come out after dark but this one was crossing the river in daylight and it aroused the curiosity of the young lions in the pride.

"The lions were surprised by the appearance of perhaps something they had not seen before and the first lion went over to investigate what it was."

The rangers continued: "The crab went up on its back legs and had its claws at the ready.

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Credit: LatestSightings.com
Credit: LatestSightings.com

"The poor little fella was trying to make it to the riverbank where its burrow was when more lions came over to check it out until there were five of them.

"The crab kept its claws up at the lions as it backed up, until it made the bank and disappeared into a burrow, and then the young lions lost interest.

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"Not many betting people would have given the crab good odds on making it across the river past a pride of lions but this little fella was up for it."

Credit: LatestSightings.com
Credit: LatestSightings.com

The only crab in the world that has enough force in its claws to match a lion bite is the coconut crab, known for its super-strength pincers - which can not only smash open coconuts, but could also lift a 10-year-old child.

The crabs, which can grow up to 18 inches, are found on the islands in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Marine biologist Shinichiro Oka said: "The pinching force of the largest coconut crab is almost equal to the bite force of an adult lion, it is so strong.

"They can generate a force of about 90 times their body weight, allowing them to crush something with about six tons of force - so close to a lion."

Featured Image Credit: LatestSightings.com

Topics: News, Animals, Lions

Jess Hardiman
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