While the Nkuhuma Pride and the Northern Avoca male lions devour an elephant carcass, a lucky hyena manages to sneak in and gets away with the elephant’s foot. This sighting happened in the Sabi Sands in the Greater Kruger.
Chitwa Chitwa Game Reserve head guide, Deon Wessels shared this once-in-a-lifetime sighting with LatestSightings.com: “While working out in the bush, we very quickly learn to expect to be surprised by the inner workings of Mother Nature. The only certainty is that the cycle of life will happen throughout all niches, ecosystems, and environments. Whether we are there to witness it or not. Animals die so that others can live.”
“On the 10th of June 2022, this amazing story unfolded. A lone elephant bull passed away on our property of old age. The elephant carcass was devoured by the Nkuhuma pride of lions and the Avoca males over the course of 3 days or so. As the lions tucked into the carcass, the hyenas were never far off. As soon as they got the gap, the scavengers moved in and started a feeding-frenzy and watching carefully from the safety of the Marula trees, sat a committee of vultures.”
Lucky hyena sneaks in and gets away with elephant’s foot
“It goes without saying, that hyenas are undoubtedly coupled with death. And rightfully so, as they are found lurking around carcasses awaiting the opportunity to steal whatever they can. As scavengers, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem by being the final consumer and returning nutrients back into the ground.”
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“On this particular day, one hyena got hold of the foot of the elephant, which had been eaten off. This was undoubtedly something I have never witnessed in all my life in the bushveld. It was so neatly chewed off, it almost looked as if someone had cut it off with a chainsaw.”
“Hyenas’ main diet consists of carrion (decaying flesh). Due to their powerful digestive systems, they are able to digest this putrid food, which prevents the spread of diseases in nature. The stomach acids of both the hyenas and vultures digest the decaying meat and shards of bone. And kills off the bacteria and disease preventing them from being harmed.”
“Often when hyenas are finished with a kill, there is almost no trace of the animal, besides the skull or horns which remain. People often assume that hyenas don’t hunt. But in actual fact, they can be proficient hunters, even using bodies of water to assist them in their chase.”
“Each story unfolds in front of you and captivates you so deeply that you can’t look away. Because you are part of it.”
“I get to witness many unbelievable sightings on a daily basis, but this sighting will be one of the most memorable ones. It’s never easy seeing the old perish, but this elephant bull had a good life. Born from the earth, returned to the soils of his birthplace.”
“At times we may be faced with some difficult sightings and are confronted with the harsh reality of nature. When driving around in the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s best wildlife sanctuaries, remember these words... “Assume nothing, expect everything.”