A lioness and her cubs were enjoying a meal in a tree when a clan of hungry hyenas arrived and surrounded the tree in hopes of receiving a helping of leftovers.

One of the cubs inexplicably jumped from the tree, in an apparent attempt to flee the scene, and was instantly surrounded by the hyenas and their jaws.

“The puppy was terrified; he froze,” Benji Solms, a guide at Serondella Game Lodge in Kruger National Park in South Africa, told LatestSightings.com. “The cries of the hyenas, accompanied by the terrifying sight of him, made him tremble. He realized that he had made a mistake that endangered his life!

The mother lion recognized the threat of losing her cub to the hyenas, dropped the impala carcass from the tree and jumped to the ground to confront the hyenas.

“She gave them a death glare and stood her ground,” Solms said. “It worked, and the hyenas instantly diverted their attention from the helpless cub to the meat in front of them.”

The hyenas ran to feed on the carcass and the cub was safe thanks to its mother, who sacrificed dinner to rescue it.

The story originally appeared in For The Win.

By Sam