south african faces

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Buzz off! Lions’ snooze in the shade is ruined when they are attacked by a swarm of pesky bees (Photographer Andrew Forsyth)

This is the moment a sleepy pride of lions had their afternoon snooze in the shade interrupted by a furious swarm of bees.

The lions struggled to defend themselves when the insects launched an attack near a watering hole in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Despite their fierce reputation, the big cats were too slow to swat the angry bees away and become increasingly frustrated in the 40C heat.

The African bee is known to be more aggressive than European honey bees and while their sting is no more venomous, they usually attack in greater numbers and target more frequently. 

The pictures, captured by wildlife photographer Andrew Forsyth, 47, who likened the scenes to a boxing match.

He said: ‘It was like watching a contest between a lightweight and heavyweight boxer, with the lightweight just moving around scoring with little jabs that slowly wore the opponent down.’

He said the Kalahari lions were relatively easy to spot with daytime temperatures in excess of 40C.

'Lions spend much of their daytime sleeping so for wildlife photographers most our time with lions is spent waiting for something interesting to happen. The intervention of the bees provided some welcome entertainment, although the lions weren’t amused.’

During the process of photographing the animals, Mr Forsyth himself was stung by one of the bee.

DEAR USWNT FANS

Just wondering if this will help you stop and reflect on your behaviour. It’s not all of you so please don’t send me hate mail saying that I’m generalising. But there are definitely hardcore fans who don’t consider the fact that there are other teams and fans of those teams who feel heartbroken for their losses too. Yes, the USWNT is still the best in the world. But there are other teams and players who have contributed to the history and development of women’s soccer. There are players like Marta who had to live away from their families from an early age because their families didn’t have the resources to help them. She had to rely on sponsorship and comply with whatever was required of her just so she could have a chance. The South African team faces constant homophobia in their county, with a former player even being killed and her body dumped on the side of the road. The Australians have only recently had the opportunity to play soccer full time, with players having had to work all day or all night and still find time to practise. A few English players still work in regular jobs and fit in soccer. If you truly love the game then learn the history and respect the players and teams who might not always win but make the game great despite being overshadowed by the USWNT.