Watch a Hyena Save a Warthog From a Leopard

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 22, 2023
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Key Points

  • Although warthogs can build tunnels or dens beneath rocks, they prefer to sleep and reproduce in abandoned aardvark dens.
  • While this is often a safe place for these animals to stay, a hungry leopard has a different idea.
  • Just as a warthog begins squealing from the dangers of the feline, a hyena comes out of nowhere and nips the cat on the backside!

You never know what you’re getting into when you step into the wild. A shocking interaction happened between three wild animals and thanks to someone filming in the right place and right time, we’re able to witness it for ourselves. 

Check Out This Heroic Hyena in Action in the Video Below!

Hyena to the rescue

Let’s set the scene, starting with a sleeping warthog. Although warthogs can build tunnels or dens beneath rocks, they prefer to sleep and reproduce in abandoned aardvark dens. These include a tunnel that opens up into a sizable underground room that is perfect for refuge and for raising the young. A warthog family enters its den with the young going in first.

A Warthog sleeping in it's burrow, taken on Safari in South Africa

Warthogs prefer to sleep and reproduce in abandoned

aardvark

dens.

©Rudi Hulshof/Shutterstock.com

While this is often a safe place for these animals to stay, a hungry leopard has a different idea. The footage shows a leopard neck-deep into the entrance of the warthog den. These big animals do have a rather good appetite. They are solely carnivores and enjoy pursuing large prey since they require a lot of nourishment to keep them fed and energized. 

Most of the time, leopards like to consume medium-sized animals. In addition to other medium-sized species, they also like eating antelope, zebras, deer, warthogs, piglets, and primates. Leopards often ignore prey that is too large for one cat to handle because they are solitary hunters. 

Just as a warthog begins squealing from the dangers of the feline, a hyena comes out of nowhere and nips the cat on the backside! It’s like a scene out of The Lion King happening right in front of our eyes! 

Close up angry leopard portrait

Most of the time, leopards like to consume medium-sized animals.

©iStock.com/Byrdyak

An Unlikely Hero

Africa, Animal, Animal Wildlife, Animals Hunting, Animals In The Wild

It’s surprising that this lone hyena chose to attack such a ferocious cat. You naturally wonder if the hyena wanted the warthog all to himself. 

©iStock.com/mlschach

Leopards can be killed by lions, gangs of hyenas, or painted dogs in Africa; tigers can do the same in Asia. Leopards go to tremendous measures to evade these predators by resting in trees, hunting at various times of day than their rivals, and frequently pursuing different prey.

It’s surprising that this lone hyena chose to attack such a ferocious cat. The leopard runs off and the hyena steps towards the warthog den. For a moment, you naturally wonder if the hyena wanted the warthog all to himself. 

Instead, the animal chases the leopard up a tree! It’s hard to say which animal would win if they went head-to-head. They both are incredibly strong and powerful creatures. Either way, we’re glad the warthog is safe in this scenario! 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © J.NATAYO/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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