It's early morning in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. The towering majesty of Mount Kilimanjaro is hidden by a mass of rain clouds heralding the end of a long dry spell. Acacia trees stand motionless in the expectant air as sun filters through the clouds.
A herd of Cape buffalo, plodding towards their favorite waterhole suddenly catch the scent of their age-old enemy - lion. Their reaction is quick and instinctive. Mature bulls and cows range cautiously forward in a defensive line, shielding the young. They raise their huge muzzles toward the source of the danger as their flute-like ears come forward. Should they flee or attack?
The lions, after a long night of hunting, are also uncertain. Their opposition is indeed formidable. Do they exercise discretion and slink away into the undergrowth? Or do they stand their ground hoping that the buffaloes' nerve will crack first, hopefully revealing a weak straggler who could be brought down in a hurry?
There are no rules or conventions in this confrontation. The outcome could go either way but the protagonists are motionless with indecision during these tense moments.