A YouTube Hit: High Drama on the Savannah

A YouTube Hit: High Drama on the Savannah

Jessica Leber
Published: 07/30/2008

Dumb jokes, maudlin poems, top ten lists and chain letters are among the emails I let die a lonely death when they land in my inbox by way of some misguided friend or family member. Even when I actually find articles or links interesting, I don't usually feel compelled to pass them along.

The biggest exception to this has to be the YouTube video, Battle at Kruger. Right after I saw this 8-minute wildlife melee improbably involving a pride of lions, a herd of water buffalo and a crocodile, first I watched it twice more and then went straight for the forward click.  So, now I'm saying to anyone reading this, go watch this video. Shot by a tourist in South Africa's Kruger National Park, shaky camera and all, the clip has all the suspense, violence and dramatic twists of any decent blockbuster (I don't want to give too much away, so that's all I'll say). After its ambiguous ending, you'll be left at once heartened and relieved that it's not you out there struggling to survive on the savannah. 

The video is definitely already a huge hit, and I was pretty late to the game in spreading the word about two months ago. It's one of the most widely-viewed YouTube clips ever, but since the stats only tally in at about 35 million, I figure there's got to be one or two of you out there who missed this one. The viral video became so popular that National Geographic bought the rights and, in May, aired a documentary about the footage.  Check out the official web site and this article in The New York Times for more back story.