See a Single Senior Lioness Fight an Entire Hyena Clan

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Updated: October 22, 2023
Share on:

Lionesses are known for being strong and powerful, even in their old age. Verity is a 15-year-old lioness that was captured in a video fighting off a pack of hyenas so that she could get a drink from the waterhole. The video was filmed in October 2022 by Frances Hannah, who is the field conservation coordinator at Leopard Ecology and Conservation.

Watch the Exciting Video Now!

In the video, you can see the pack of hyenas lounging in the waterhole on a hot day, while the other hyenas appear alert with their ears and nose moving to pick up the lioness’s scent.

When Verity starts to approach the pack of hyenas, they begin to run up and circle her, but they seem wary and even fearful of the big lioness. Once Verity is closer to the waterhole, the hyenas try to attack her, but they seem hesitant. Suddenly, Verity charges right up to the hyenas to get closer to the waterhole and this is when the hyenas start to attack her.

However, the hyenas were no match for Verity even though it wasn’t much of a fight because they appear to only be defending themselves and nipping at Verity’s legs. The lioness’s intention doesn’t seem to be aggressive, but rather trying to show that she wants to drink from the waterhole without the hyenas bothering her.

It seems that the hyenas were only trying to prevent Verity from coming close to the pack, and they soon left her alone once she was inside the waterhole. In the distance of the Kalahari environment, you can see the rest of the hyena pack watching this situation unfold.

What Sounds Do Hyenas Make?

The funny sounds you hear throughout the video are actually hyena noises. This sounds like laughing, but it is known as “wild cackling” which can sound like yelling, laughing, and giggling. Although these sounds can be quite creepy, it is how they communicate in their groups and with rivals.

Hyena Birth - hyena pack

Hyenas are known for making sounds reminiscent of cackling to communicate.

© Schallmeiner

How Long Do Lions Live?

Since Verity is a 15-year-old lioness, she is considered quite old. The average lion only lives for around 10 to 16 years, so Verity is well into her senior years. Even as an old lion, Verity is showing her age well and she has lived a long life in the harsh Kalahari environment. Certain factors can affect a lion’s lifespan, such as food shortages, natural threats, and even diseases. It seems that even though Verity is old and nearing the end of her lifespan, she doesn’t let her age stop her from being fierce and protective all by herself.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Yogiee/

Share on:
About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.