Pack of Hyenas Attack and Swallows Up a Lion Before Her Pride Shows Up

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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© AfricaWildlife/

Being run over has a brand new meaning when watching the short video clip shown below. Typically when we think about being run over, we think of something larger, striking something smaller. Perhaps a large semi truck runs into a small four-door Honda, or a car strikes a pedestrian walking across the street, or even someone running at full speed and accidentally running into a child or elderly person and knocking them over.  

This YouTube clip is shown below and takes place in Maasai Mara in Kenya, Africa. The wildlife photographer, Pareet Shah, was the lead photographer on this safari. They caught the sight of a large pack of hyenas who showed up to gang up on a lone lioness in the wild. This hyena pack kept coming in drowns. There ended up being over 25 hyenas! We will discuss later in this post how large hyena packs can get.

This lone lioness is standing in the tall grass and seems unfazed at seeing multiple hyenas coming straight at her. We might naturally assume that any animal would hightail it out of there when seeing quite literally dozens of wild hyenas coming at you. However, for this brave lioness, she shows zero fear. 

As the hyenas get to her, she is not only run over; the better word for this would be plowed over. There are so many hyenas that some are lifting her in the air while others surround her. Each is taking a bite from each side of her. She does her best to fight back; however, against this many, no animal can survive. Just when we think this is her impending doom, out of nowhere, her pride shows up. 

They have heard her cries, and they scare off these hyenas. Even though only five of her pride show up, the five grown lions are quite enough to scare off these 25 hyenas from trying anything further. 

How Large Can Hyena Packs Get?

Hyena Birth - hyena pack

Hyenas (

Crocuta crocuta

) can be found on the Khwai River in Botswana, Africa.

© Schallmeiner

Hyenas, Crocuta crocuta, of the family Hyaenidae are rather scraggly looking mammals that weigh 41-86 kilograms (90-190 pounds).

Their social behavior is to live in packs. And while their pack sizes vary from location to location, they can reach up to 100 plus members! 

Hyenas are carnivores and like to eat prey such as wildebeest, monkeys, and birds. While hyenas don’t typically take a lion down by themselves, if a pack can gang up on one lion that happens to be found alone, they will take that opportunity. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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