'Planet Earth II' shocker: Giraffe kicks lioness in the face

So much for the queen of the jungle and her pride. But it was neck-and-neck there for a minute.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.

In a fight between an elegant, long-necked giraffe and a ferocious lioness, most people will put their money on the queen of the beasts. But the latest clip from BBC wildlife documentary "Planet Earth II," which aired Sunday in the UK, proves the animal kingdom can still surprise us.

The big cats race after the giraffe, who seems trapped. But never underestimate the power of a creature as tall and powerful as this one. Just as the lioness times her impressive leap, claws out, the giraffe simply kicks her smack in the face with those legs of steel.

Social media reaction was heavily on the giraffe's side.

It's not the first time giraffes have showed their true mettle. On the Discovery Channel's 2013 documentary series "Africa," two giraffes pummeled each other with their 500-pound necks, shocking many viewers.

So far, though, no one appears to have set the giraffe knockout to music as was done with an earlier viral clip from "Planet Earth II," the baby iguana fleeing a pack of racer snakes.

"Planet Earth II" doesn't air in the US until January, but these sneak peeks just keep getting better and better. And we ain't lion.