See These Hyenas Corner A Lion, Then Reinforcements Arrive

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: April 28, 2023
© Riaan van den Berg/
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Key Points:

  • Hyenas are highly social animals and live in groups called clans, which can have up to 80 members.
  • Hyenas are known for their distinctive laugh-like vocalization, which they use to communicate with each other.
  • Hyenas are scavengers but can also hunt for their food, and they have powerful jaws that can crush bones.

There is a special part of The Lion King film where Simba is cornered by hyenas and calls for help. Before long the mighty Mufasa arrives and saves the day! This is a real-life re-enactment – with a few changes!  There is so much going on here – it can be hard to keep up so it is worth watching it a few times.

Hyenas Torment a Lion

The incident was captured by a 19-year-old visitor to Krugar National Park in Africa. It all starts with a wildebeest kill. It looks as if a lion has caught wildebeest and is eating the carcass. The sight and smell attract the hyenas who are notorious scavengers – although they are also very good at hunting themselves. They have somehow managed to steal the leg of the wildebeest from the lion but at first, it is not too bothered and continues eating the catch. You will notice that the kill has also attracted some vultures who are also well-known scavengers and are probably planning on moving in once the lion has left the scene.

pride of lions
Lions live in groups called prides.


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However, things are about to take a sinister turn. The hyenas turn their attention to the lion and the rest of the kill. Working as a team and making a huge amount of noise, they take turns lunging and snapping at the lion, trying to steal the meat. However, it is not just the hyenas that can make a noise. The roars of the lion are calling for help from the pride and re-enforcements arrive. The pride of lions is too much for the hyenas to take on and they run away. Before long, the vultures give up and fly off too!

Hyenas and Lions Living in Groups

Both hyenas and lions live in groups. Hyenas live on open savanna plains and grassland and there are four different species. They are actually more closely related to cats than dogs. Hyenas are carnivores with scraggly fur and large ears. Spotted hyenas live in packs of up to 80 animals with the females dominating.

Lions also live in groups called a pride that are made up of mainly females with one or two males and lion cubs. This video is a perfect illustration of why animals live in packs. It increases their chances of finding food because hunting in numbers increases success rates and allows them to tackle more challenging prey. They also cooperate to raise young and protect each other. Hyenas and lions have more in common than they would probably care to admit!

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Pride of lions in grass
Lions are well camouflaged in long grass
© Riaan van den Berg/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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