Lions are the top predators in their environment. But that didn’t stop the brave jackal from trying to distract the big cat, hoping to snag a bite.
In this video, a male lion is eating fresh prey in the Masai Mara. Located in Kenya, this national game reserve is home to many African wildlife, including the lions and jackals shown in this video. The lion has an ungulate in its jaw, possibly an impala or gazelle. One jackal hovered behind him, while another sat farther away.
The text at the bottom of the screen reads: “The jackals will follow the lions in the hope that they will lead them to the kill.” Surprisingly, the lions did not attack the jackals and instead decided to treat him to lunch. Instead, the lion moves his body out of annoyance when the smaller jackal bites his tail.
While chewing the food, the lion occasionally flicked its tail when the jackal approached, and it seemed that the jackal was not bothered. He won’t stop eating or even turn around to look or chase the jackal away.
The jackal is trying to distract the lion so that another jackal can rush in and steal the prey. We’re not sure which jackal has the harder job. It doesn’t look like the big cat will be outsmarted anytime soon. The photographer speculated that the hunted prey was actually done by jackals. Jackals are better at catching small animals like this. The lions may have driven them off, and the jackals are now back to retrieve their food.
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I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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