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Why Hyenas Shouldn’t Climb Trees

Sometimes you just have to stick to your day-job! In this incredible video of hyenas feeding in a tree, we see why hyenas are not exactly known for their climbing ability.

44 year old Chef, Steven Hayley from the United Kingdom shared his spectacular sighting with, and told us more about the one in a lifetime experience!

“It was a late September afternoon on the H7 near Satara where I watched a leopard feeding on an impala carcass in a tree. Knowing that leopards usually revisit their kills, I returned at first light in hope to find the leopard in its same spot still feeding. I did not see the leopard but noticed two hyenas below the tree trying to figure out a way to get to what was left of the carcass.”

“A few more cars joined me at the sighting spot, hoping to get a glimpse of the leopard, but the leopard was not around, so some of the cars continued on their way and I remained stationary with another lovely South African couple who ended up sharing some food with me. After about 20 minutes spent waiting, we were finally rewarded when one of the hyenas started climbing up the tree to get the carcass. You very rarely see hyenas climb anything at all so this was extremely exciting! The hyena got to the carcass and started feeding while also simultaneously trying to keep the second hyena from getting his share of the meal.”

“I was shocked at this sighting and I don’t believe almost anyone has ever seen this before, and that includes guides and rangers that I spoke to after this event! I was so intrigued. I watched the amazing thought process of this brave hyena as it contemplated its strategy of how to dislodge the carcass from the tree. It kept at its attempts and even after it fell from the tree it got straight back up to try again and I found this unbelievable especially after such a heavy fall from quite a fair height!”


“Eventually the hyena came back down the tree to assess the situation from below of how best to get the meal on the ground, but he wasn’t sure. The two hyenas ended up fighting for the scraps that had fallen to the ground and finally gave up and left. I believe that this is the rarest sighting I’ve ever had in the Kruger and I think the footage can speak for itself! This was simply incredible.”

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