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February 22, 2011 7:15 PM   Subscribe

3 Men vs. 15 Lions [SLYT]

Pretty amazing...although not knowing anything about their culture, I am wondering how often this happens for reasons other than 'guys want to film it.' Pretty badass either way!
posted by jnnla (34 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
A man is condemned to death and offered a multiple choice of possible executions. He is placed in room with three doors. Behind the first door is a raging inferno of hot gas at temperatures of 7000 degrees. Behind the second door is an insane serial killer brandishing a chainsaw. Behind the third door is a pride of lions that hasn't eaten in two years.

The man must choose a door and enter through it. What is his best choice?
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:22 PM on February 22, 2011


Hah! Humans win again!
posted by cman at 7:23 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three, duh, those lions are dead!
posted by zippy at 7:23 PM on February 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


So at about the 40 second point, there's two quick extremely long lens telephoto shots (maybe three seconds in total) of three guys approaching and lions dispersing. Everything else in the sequence is accomplished via old school editing. Close-up of lion prowling around. Close-up of men looking nervous. Etc. Add narration and mood music and, for all I know, sound effects and what you have is an example of good dramatic film making, but completely unconvincing documentary "truth".
posted by philip-random at 7:27 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Those lions probably associate humans with funny sticks that go bang and then one lion strangely dropa dead, which is why they ran off so quickly.

Still, brass balls.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:27 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Philip, are you saying that this was other than presented? I'm sure it was edited, hell, everything is edited, but I also believe that it happened basically as the video shows it.

What would you suspect to be different about the "truth"...

That said...

Burhanistan nailed it.
posted by tomswift at 7:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a pretty good matchup for Detroit.
posted by The White Hat at 7:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Philip, are you saying that this was other than presented? I'm sure it was edited, hell, everything is edited, but I also believe that it happened basically as the video shows it.

I'm saying, take another look at the vid ask yourself, when were those guys ever within say 200 yards (meters?) of those lions? Which is not to say that they don't have balls bigger than I; just that they're not THAT big.
posted by philip-random at 7:34 PM on February 22, 2011


If you steal the kill and nobody is hurt... that's when you can relax... and feel happy.

I actually made a fortune on Wall Street with this philosophy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:34 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Philip... even with the telephoto, I think your estimate of 200 yards (two football fields) is extreme... 50 yards, maybe...

If we're measuring balls, I'm putting them at the 6" mark at the least.
posted by tomswift at 7:53 PM on February 22, 2011


twoleftfeet : A man is condemned to death and offered a multiple choice of possible executions. He is placed in room with three doors. Behind the first door is a raging inferno of hot gas at temperatures of 7000 degrees. Behind the second door is an insane serial killer brandishing a chainsaw. Behind the third door is a pride of lions that hasn't eaten in two years.

The man must choose a door and enter through it. What is his best choice?


The door with the lions... if they haven't eaten in two years, they are dead.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 7:59 PM on February 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


Why don't they just kill their own wildebeasts?
posted by delmoi at 8:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's nothing. Last Saturday I watched a single twentysomething girl outwit eight cougars for a hunk of man meat.
posted by ooga_booga at 8:06 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


walking up to a carcass that's being munched on by a pride of lions is totally bad ass. respect.

reminds me a little of this persistance hunt video. clearly some of the shots are staged or at least shot out of sequence, but i don't think there's a reason to believe that the narrative of "people can steal food from lions" or "people can run an animal to death" is invented.
posted by mexican at 8:40 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Behind the first door is a raging inferno of hot gas at temperatures of 7000 degrees. Behind the second door is an insane serial killer brandishing a chainsaw. Behind the third door is a pride of lions that hasn't eaten in two years.

drew carey's just ruining that show, isn't he?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:52 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Definitely needs the LIKE A BOSS tag.
posted by bayani at 9:59 PM on February 22, 2011


This was a scene presented in the recent episode of the BBC's Human Planet. The series is pretty incredible, but this one scene was downright amazing. I have no reason to doubt that this is not real.

The Maasai are, truly, the most badass civilization on the planet. Period.
posted by chemoboy at 10:45 PM on February 22, 2011


Classic bluff. Dorobo dudes going after the wildebeest carcass all like Han & Chewie against a bunch of stormtroopers. My favorite moment @ 0:24. Lioness is all, "Are they serious? They can't be serious. Oh fuck--these crazy dudes are SERIOUS."
posted by millions at 11:03 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you can fake confidence, you can get everywhere in life.

When Chuck Norris makes "Chuck Norris" jokes, he uses the Massai.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:46 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


My amateur naturalist interpretation:

The lions didn't leave because they saw humans. They left because they saw something unexpected. Those humans had no business walking up to a group of feasting lions. But the reason why there are a lot of cats on this planet might have to do with the fact that they are quite skittish and prefer to retreat and observe when presented with an unknown scenario. And humans took advantage of that.

The impression I got from the documentary was that if the hunters hung around indefinitely, the lions would eventually descend upon them and use them as a side dish. So those same humans were smart enough to know that they should leave quickly, because once the cats are no longer startled, they will no longer be docile.
posted by chemoboy at 12:03 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Having seen lions catch and kill an animal 2 metres away from my car, I can say in no uncertain terms you don't want to be getting between a lion and his food. From the lionesses bringing it down to complete dismemberment took 20 seconds. 20 seconds of growling, gnawing and the raw stench of blood and poo as the animals innards got ripped open. The closest analogy I can give you is 6 men on PCP simultaneously having a knife fight.

These lions are conditioned to see humans, one way or another, as a bad thing. They also look well fed, so the impetus to stick about and see if these humans have the firing sticks isn't there.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:33 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I believe it. These guys are related to the Maasai and you just don't mess with them. There are also other tribes that usually come off best against lions. The Chagga, are one. I was told in all seriousness by a Maasai that an old Chagga lady with a stick would beat a lion. Then there's the Barbaig, who - secretly, they won't admit it - even the Maasai are scared of. I met one guy who had killed a lion, whilst he was protecting his herd.

Perhaps it's true that the big cats are just big pussies
posted by quarsan at 2:11 AM on February 23, 2011


15 lions? OK, but how many 5-year-olds do you think they could handle?
posted by bashos_frog at 2:26 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fake.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 2:45 AM on February 23, 2011


Has no one else noticed that everything there was green at the time? Green means water, water means growth, growth means food, and food means more animals available to be eaten. I don't imagine that these men would be doing these things in the middle of the dry season when these animals haven't eaten in who knows how long. Seasonal advantageous behavior is one of the things that's made us as a species so powerful and good at what we do; i.e. not dying.
posted by ZaneJ. at 2:57 AM on February 23, 2011


I'm going to call semi-fake on this one, as in "it happened, but it's not quite what it seems." On safari on Tanzania, it was possible to get very close to the animals in a jeep, as the animals are accustomed to them. It was a completely different experience on foot, with most animals, including lions, scarpering as soon as they became aware of us. The guides told us that the animals were scared of people on foot as this is the way the poachers hunt and animals associate walking humans with imminent death. Still, even knowing this to be the likely outcome, it takes some stones to try it.
As an aside, the animals least intimidated by walking humans were the hyenas. They were giving us some serious eyeballing as we examined their handiwork on a dead buffalo, and we could hear them spreading out around us before we decided that discretion was the better part of valour. I think I'd try it on with lions before hyenas.
posted by Jakey at 3:06 AM on February 23, 2011


Those lions probably associate humans with funny sticks that go bang and then one lion strangely dropa dead, which is why they ran off so quickly.

Not this, so much. There's not much money in poaching lions, nothing like, say, elephant.

the animals were scared of people on foot as this is the way the poachers hunt and animals associate walking humans with imminent death.

More this, kind of. Lions are more afraid of Dorobo (Masai / Samburu) farmers, who kill them, I shit you not, primarily with spears and swords, or sometimes bow/arrow as these guys have. They kill the lions when they are a threat to their cattle flock, and not just with weapons but often with animal poisons (i.e. poisoned goat meat, etc.). It is usually illegal (as is, of course, the poaching).

Also, you'd be hard pressed to find a Dorobo man above 5'9". Also, I'd be really surprised if this was faked, in any way. Maybe one or two of these guys have ever seen a working TV in his lifetime. They didn't walk up to those lions to get on TV, there just happened to be a crew following them on what was all in a days work, for them.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:32 AM on February 23, 2011


Anyone seen the cat? I'm going to set up an experiment and settle this fake/not fake debate. I'll also need a tin of tuna and the box of Barbies the girls used to play with.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2011


> Not this, so much. There's not much money in poaching lions, nothing like, say, elephant.

True, but people shoot lions when they get near all the same.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 AM on February 23, 2011


Just curious over here, any of you guys going "meh" and "fake" ever been attacked by a wild lion?
posted by rahnefan at 9:42 AM on February 23, 2011


Am I the only one that is siding with the lions on this? Fifteen of them have to share one meal of a wildebeest, which they killed. That's not much per lion. Then three men come and take it away--that hardly seems fair. The lions killed it, they should get to eat it.

But maybe all is not what it seems, here. Is this really the end of the story, or just the beginning? Seen from the lions' point of view, it could be, "Here's how we tricked some humans, using a single wildebeest as bait, to lead us back to their village, where we slaughtered them all and feasted like kings for a month."
posted by misha at 10:18 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see them try that with a honey badger. Honey Badgers are just crayzee!
posted by Pendragon at 11:22 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lions and other big predators are disinclined to take unnecessary risks. Even a small mammal bite or claw wound can become infected and lead to bad things and death.

I am not surprised that these guys were able to do this. They clearly assessed the pride's demeanor and related circumstances (weather, available food, etc), they knew they could get away with it.

They didn't just grab the whole carcass, either, they took their cut and bailed without lingering. To anthropomorphize a little, you can bet the lions were disappointed to see that leg leaving, but were happy that they had something left. Nobody hurt on either side.
posted by Xoebe at 11:28 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just curious over here, any of you guys going "meh" and "fake" ever been attacked by a wild lion?

I got attacked by a crow once, and more than a few drunks ... which is beside the point. My point anyway. Which is that the two guys and the lions only ever appear in the same shot maybe three times ... and never when it isn't an extreme telephoto shot (note how shallow the depth of focus is), which means that the relative closeness of the lions to the two guys is necessarily squashed.

As an example, check out this photo from a football game. Based on the field markings, those two guys are at least 80 yards from that end zone, which is hardly how the camera eye perceives it.

Earlier on I said the two guys were 200 yards/meters from the lions. That's just a wild guess, so I'm not going to fight for it. But in general, I'd argue that they were never near as close as the camera made them appear ... and, if the editor had held on that shot for more than two or three seconds (and not constantly intercut their approach to the kill with shots of prowling lions), I suspect it would've quickly become more evident to the casual viewer.

The camera eye lies. That's why we love it so much.
posted by philip-random at 12:48 PM on February 23, 2011


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