Edrich Schafer (39), Lodge manager in the Timbavati, was in for a huge shock the night of Friday 13th of October 2017.
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He recalls the harrowing event to LatestSightings.com: “This whole ordeal took place right in front of a private camp in the Timbavati, Greater Kruger Area. We were just about to put the meat on the fire when we heard hyenas causing a big commotion.
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When the noises did not stop and moved right up to the front of the camp, we decided to go and investigate. Just listening to the noise from a distance, our initial thoughts were the hyenas were busy hunting down an old or sick buffalo.
This does happen here occasionally, and those noises sounded like hyenas during a feeding frenzy mixed with the distress call of a buffalo.
With camera and flashlight in hand, we headed down to the river in the front.
It took us about two minutes to really figure out what was going on as these things moved in and out thick bush. Then….to our shock, horror and confusion…..2 Hyenas on top of another hyena!
They meant war…
The one hyena’s face, covered in blood and screaming like a buffalo. The noise and smells at night with this right in front of us was something we won’t quickly forget. The reason for this can only be related back to either a threat or competition. Whatever the reason was that night, it was not taken lightly by these guys.
One also realized that intentional torture was part of it….biting ears, face, genitals and ripping guts nonstop….or are hyenas just that tough that this is what it takes to kill one? There was not a grain of mercy here and this was serious business for these hyenas to deal with.
The 2 attackers were tired-out by the end. This ordeal lasted for over 50mins without any rest periods in between. They left the badly mauled victim still breathing.
He died a slow death that night. Hyenas are probably the toughest animals on this planet, so when they turn on each other, things get messy. For this one hyena to stay alive for that long is astounding.
For me, living here in the wild, I have NEVER seen this kind of brutality before. The next morning, the smell was already strong. We had to tow the carcass away from the camp into the bush about a kilometer away. The carcass was there for another 24 hours and nothing touched it. Two days later it was gone. Drag marks heading in two different directions, the smell still in the air and lots of tracks all over the place. Those tracks, of course, belonged to…..Hyenas.