When lionesses are at work, male lions need to let them be. In the video at the bottom of the page, lionesses have attacked a sole hyena. When the male lion approaches, they get distracted, giving the hyena a chance to escape.
Do Lions Eat Hyenas?
Both lions and hyenas are apex predators. They are in competition with one another, with their interest focused on the same prey animals. Plus, they tend to scavenge, opportunistically snacking on the kills of lion prides. They also devour carcasses and scraps left behind. But together, they’re powerful enough to take down large animals like wildebeests. Lions also hunt in groups (called prides) and they don’t hesitate to take down hyenas. Interestingly, they don’t typically eat them. They are simply taking down a competitor.
Why Do Female Lions Turn on Male Lions During a Kill?
Female lions may turn on male lions during a kill for several reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they are competing for food. This is especially true if there is a scarcity of food sources. They may become more defensive during these periods, which results in fights to protect their kill. Additionally, male lions may take the opportunity to mate with a female when it’s time to eat. The lioness may be quick to let the male lion that she’s not interested in that moment. Sometimes, the eagerness and excitement lead to heightened tension around a kill as well, which can lead to conflict.
Hyena is Outnumbered
The video below was recorded at Masai Mara, Kenya. When it starts, there’s already commotion. The shrubs and grass are overgrown, which limits visibility just ahead. You can make out a couple of lions and you can hear the hyena protesting while it’s under attack. Then, you can see that it’s facing off with two lions, attempting to stand its ground even though it’s outnumbered. A fact comes on screen that reads, “Hyenas outnumber lions in the mara, but this hyena was caught alone with no backup.” There are a few moments when there’s no action.
The hyena is frozen, looking forward at the lion closest to it. The other lion is several feet away, its attention turned elsewhere. When one of the lions shows disinterest, the other follows. It looks like the hyena may be able to get away. That’s when you realize there’s been a third lion all along, its teeth in the frozen hyena. Another lioness approaches to attack when a male steps in. The lionesses roar him out of the space, which gives the hyena a chance to escape. But its injuries are too severe for survival.
Watch the Footage Below!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com
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