- While lionesses lead the hunt for prey in prides, male lions do hunt alone. They use the element of surprise to catch prey and typically endure fewer injuries than females.
- Mother hyenas protect their cubs by putting them in communal dens, which are hard for predators to invade because of their small openings.
- In this amazing video, a pack of hyenas try to attack a lion who has killed one of their young.
When humans are ‘hangry,’ it can be dangerous. Now imagine interrupting a male lion, blood still dripping from his chin, while he feasts on a fresh kill. These hyenas were empowered by their protective nature as one of their own is overpowered.
Do Male Lions Hunt Alone?
Typically when you hear of lions hunting, you hear of the females taking the lead in prides. They use their strength in numbers to take down even large prey like buffalos. Male lions are typically perceived as lazy, hanging back and letting the lionesses do all the work. However, male lions do hunt alone.
Since they don’t have the pride backing them when they go off on their solitary journeys, they have to use the element of surprise to take down their prey. Interestingly, the darker a lion’s mane, the more testosterone in the wild animal and the more mature he is. These male lions typically endure fewer injuries.
How Do Hyena Clans Protect Their Cubs?
Hyena mothers protect their cubs by moving them into communal dens. They are protected in these environments because predators can’t fit through the small openings. Although protective, there have been instances when hyenas kill their own cubs, crunching through their skulls the way they would kill small prey animals. Researchers point to the hierarchical nature in hyena societies as the reason for these killings.
Male Lion vs. Hyena Clan
The video below was taken at Masai Mara National Reserve located in Kenya. When it starts, there are several safari vehicles lined up on the right side of the screen and you can hear the high-pitched calls of a hyena clan as they rush toward a male lion.
The male lion is feasting on something dead on the floor, which turns out to be a cub from the clan. Hyenas don’t typically approach male lions because of their brute power but in this instance, they were driven by their upset at the loss of their cub.
One brave hyena approaches the distracted lion and bites its behind, trying to distract it. It works, the lion roars and turns around, fighting off the clan. When the lion turns around, one of the hyenas goes over to briefly check on the cub, quickly realizes it’s dead, and heads back to bite the lion.
Several of the hyenas manage to bite at the lion but the lion is much too powerful. Although it gets attacked from every direction, it continues ferociously fighting them all off until they eventually run away, leaving their lifeless cub to be devoured.
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