Lioness sneaks up on hippo in Maasai Mara National Reserve

This is the dramatic moment a sleepy hippo reversed the rules of nature by viciously attacking a lioness in Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya.

This is the dramatic moment a sleepy Hippopotamus reversed the rules of nature by viciously attacking a lioness.

The clip taken by tourists on the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border, starts with the large lioness traversing the overgrown savannah in search for food.

After around a minute of scouring the vast open plains it stumbles across the sleeping hippo and then approaches stealthily, thinking it had found a large snack. 

Wrong: The lioness goes to pounce on the Hippopotamus in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Wrong: The lioness goes to pounce on the Hippopotamus in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Attack: The hippo shoots up to chase off the fleeing cat 

Attack: The hippo shoots up to chase off the fleeing cat 

Grab: In a shock move the hippo engulfs the lioness' head in its mouth and slings it to the ground 

Grab: In a shock move the hippo engulfs the lioness' head in its mouth and slings it to the ground 

However, the feline came up to the rear of the hippo, perhaps erroneously, and instead of sinking its teeth into its neck the lioness sniffs its behind confused.

At this point the grunting hippo shoots up and runs at the now fleeing lioness.

But the big cat underestimates the herbivore's speed.

The hippo catches up and traps the lioness' head in its huge mouth and throws it to the floor leaving a trail of dust in its wake. 

The pair run off in separate directions and the clip, uploaded by the Maasai mara Sightings YouTube channel, ends. 

Since being added to the video sharing website in June the short clip has amassed close to 1.5 million views. 

Destroy: The lioness is slung to the ground by hippo 

Destroy: The lioness is slung to the ground by hippo 

Start: After around a minute of scouring the vast open plains it stumbles across the sleeping hippo

Start: After around a minute of scouring the vast open plains it stumbles across the sleeping hippo

Most viewers were surprised that lioness didn't run off at speed when the hippo woke and starting chasing the cat.

One person wrote: 'Why was the lion just jogging as though the hippopotamus was just going to sniff.' 

Another added: 'It looks like the lioness underestimated the speed of a hippo?'