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Lion toys with squealing baby warthog and LICKS it as it desperately tries to escape

A baby warthog may have thought it was enjoying a short-lived Simba and Pumba relationship when it was licked by a lion before things took a sudden turn.

Brutal footage shows a 400-pound male lion toying with a two-pound warthog piglet it held pinned down to the ground before securing the kill.

Photographer Nili Gudhka, 29 from Nairobi captured the video in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, from just 65ft away. 

The young lion stole the piglet away from a lioness who had hunted it down and grabbed it between its jaws after a brief escape attempt.

A 400-pound male lion licks a two-pound warthog before devouring it in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

A 400-pound male lion licks a two-pound warthog before devouring it in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The young lion grabs the tiny piglet in its jaws after toying with it and allowing a brief escape attempt

The young lion grabs the tiny piglet in its jaws after toying with it and allowing a brief escape attempt 

In the video, the lion licks the warthog’s back as it squeals in distress before it makes a run for it.

The lion immediately stops it with its paw and grabs it in its mouth to run away from the lioness who tries to take it back.  

Nili said: ‘Our guide got news via radio call that a pride of lions was about to hunt. We quickly rushed to the scene and saw two lionesses chasing a warthog family.

‘The mother warthog escaped but the baby wasn’t fast enough. 

The squealing piglet makes a run for it as the lion watches before stopping it in its tracks

The squealing piglet makes a run for it as the lion watches before stopping it in its tracks 

The lion licks the warthog's back after its mother managed to escape from the pride's hunt and watched on in the distance

The lion licks the warthog’s back after its mother managed to escape from the pride’s hunt and watched on in the distance

‘The lioness pinned the baby down and started catching her breath, but then a young male lion swooped in and snatched the baby away.

‘As I started to film, he sat down and started licking the warthog whilst it was doing its best to escape. 

‘Just as it made a final escape attempt, the lioness returned to try and snatch it back, but the male lion ran off with it again.

‘Soon after, he strangled the baby and began to feed on it. The mother warthog watched on from a distance. 

The young lion runs off with the baby warthog in its jaws after a lioness hunted the prey down and stopped to catch her breath

The young lion runs off with the baby warthog in its jaws after a lioness hunted the prey down and stopped to catch her breath

‘Nature is unpredictable, brutal, and unforgiving. However hard a sighting is, we just have to be brave about it. It’s not our job to interfere.’

The lion’s behaviour will be familiar to those with domestic cats, which often play with their food. 

Lions are known to have rapid digestive systems and can be ready for a next meal just minutes after consuming one. 

However as one of the sleepiest predators – sleeping for up to 20 hours at a time – lions only need to be energised for a small portion of the day.

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