A brave hyena tries to pull a lion off a buffalo by its tail while it’s being eaten alive.
Field guide Mike Kirkman at MalaMala Game Reserve shared a humorous sighting of a lion being bitten by a hyena with LatestSightings.com.
“I was busy having my morning coffee with my guests when we heard a buffalo bellowing. We saw hyenas running towards the sound when we walked to the front of the deck. Immediately, my guests and I hurried towards the vehicle.”
These hungry hyenas try to pull a male lion off a buffalo kill by its tail
When out on safari, one tends to rely on their sight. However, do not be afraid to allow the rest of your senses to take nature in. Perhaps you will hear the distress call of an animal, which may lead you to a pride of hunting lions, or the foul smell of a carcass may allow you to witness scavenging hyenas feasting. For Mike, his sense of hearing led him to this incredible moment.
“About halfway to the scene, we could see a young lion on the buffalo’s back and an entourage of hyenas running past us toward the lion and buffalo. We drove the remaining 20 meters to the scene and watched as the lion started eating the buffalo alive. Unfortunately for the buffalo, the uncontrollable distress calls attracted more hyenas.”
“Once the buffalo had finally died, the hyenas grew more excited. They worked themselves up and became bold enough to take on the lion, nipping at its heels and biting its tail. Being a young male, he lacked the confidence of an adult male. Eventually, the constant harassment, mobbing, and noise from the hyenas drove him off.”
Lions and hyenas are well-known rivals and arch-enemies. When hyenas confront lions one-on-one, they stand no chance and will most likely flee or die. However, when hyenas outnumber lions by 4 to 1, lions become very hesitant about confrontation and will choose to run away and avoid it.
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“The noise during the sighting was incredible, both exhilarating and hair-raising. Over my 20 years of guiding, I’ve had several exciting and unique encounters. Still, this one truly stands out for me for the sheer volume of noise. I was lucky to witness this interaction in broad daylight and out in the open. We could see what was going on perfectly. More often than not, interactions between lions and hyenas occur in the dark, without anyone to witness.”
So, remember to keep your eyes, ears, and perhaps nose open on your next safari; you may never know where your senses may just lead you.