When it comes to rivalry in the wild, hyenas and lions have quite the history together. The tumultuous and combative interaction between lions and hyenas is well-documented. People can see it throughout Africa whenever the two species cohabit. While both are aggressive predators, lions and hyenas would eagerly take kills from each other and fight for pieces of old remains.
Louis Le Roux was on vacation at Gharagab in the Kgalagadi National Park when this incredible sighting unfolded. Gharagab Wilderness Camp is a tiny and extremely isolated self-catering camp located near Union’s End in the far north of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. You’ll find it atop a dune over a brightly lit waterhole, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Uploaded to the Youtube channel “Latest Sightings,” Le Roux’s video has amassed over 32 million views. It begins with Louis filming a pride of lions as they hunt in the savannah. You can hear him quietly whispering, hoping to stay hidden.
As birds sing in the background, a lioness slows her walk as she spots an unwelcomed guest on their hunting grounds – a hyena. Hyenas and lions are both possessive and violent toward one another. Hyena pups have been known to be killed by lions, and if a lion enters hyena territory, the adults protecting the den react quickly and fiercely.
Just like when your house cat thinks he spots a mouse, these big cats get on their bellies and into a “stalking” position. Their eyes are stuck on the hyena as he runs about, unaware of who’s land he’s on.
The hyena is nearly jogging his way towards the lionesses when he spots them at the last minute! It takes him no time to turn the other way and get the heck out of Dodge! Just as quickly as the hyena runs away, the lions are chasing after him.
There’s a moment when one of the lions gets close enough to paw at the intruder’s leg, but they all keep running. At one point, there are five speedy cats herding the hyena out of their space. All of the felines eventually slow down and let the hyena leave safely.
One commenter mentions, “Even wild animals have lapses from time to time and lose their edge simply by not paying attention to their surroundings. This lucky hyena learned a valuable lesson about staying alert.” We couldn’t agree more!
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