The lion is trapped in the belly of the buffalo and is on trial by the angel of death

A hungry lion cub was dealt a terrible punishment for being too keen to feast on a newly-slain buffalo when he got his head stuck in the creature’s backside.

In his eagerness to pounce after his 18-strong pride had brought down the beast, the baby became trapped in its rear end, unable to free itself.

He thrashes every way possible, flipping himself over and pushing against the carcass with his paws, but none of his efforts pays off.

Torture chamber: Video taken in a South African national park shows a lion cub desperately trying to free himself from a buffalo’s rear end, in which he has trapped himself in his haste to feed after a kill

Indeed, the unfortunate big cat suffers all the more as his exertions cause him to breathe more quickly and deeply than usual.

Eventually the speed of the movements slows down, and the cub lies still for several minutes, seemingly unconscious, in footage captured on a visit to Kruger National Park in South Africa.

However, even though the cub’s fate seemed sealed after his struggles did no good, he appears to have eventually been saved by the efforts of his fellow lions.

The other members of the pack, who seem wholly unconcerned during the filmed portion of his five-minute struggle, reportedly decided to save their friend by eating their way through the carcass.

Sticky situation: The cub flips itself upside-down and thrashes around with its paws, to no avail

Unconcerned: The lionesses who made the kill seem in no hurry to help the cub free as it pants heavily

Rescue mission? Though not shown in footage, the safari-goers who uploaded the video say they returned the next day to find the cub gone, seemingly freed after the lionesses ate through the carcass

In an explanation added to the video, posted online in 2011, the Youtube user who uploaded the video explained that when they returned the next day the cub had escaped.

The pride of lions was nowhere to be seen, but the carcass still bore the marks of what seems to have been a co-ordinated rescue attempt by the surrounding lionesses.

The buffalo’s carcass had been eaten through,seemingly leaving enough space for the unlucky lion to make good his escape.

The user, posting under the name Laliaztlan, said she was ‘relieved’ that the cub seemed to have been freed.