When it comes to rivalry in the wild, hyenas and lions have a long history together. The chaotic and aggressive interactions between lions and hyenas are well documented. Whenever the two species cohabit, it can be seen all over Africa. While both are aggressive predators, lions and hyenas will eagerly kill each other and fight over debris.
Louis Le Roux was on holiday in Gharagab in the Kgalagadi National Park when he saw the incredible sight. Gharagab Wilderness Camp is a small, very isolated self-catering camp located near Union’s End at the northernmost end of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. You’ll find it on a sand dune above a well-lit watering hole, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
A video of Le Roux uploaded to the Youtube channel “Latest Sightings” has amassed more than 32 million views. The film begins with Louis filming a group of lions hunting on the savannah. You can hear him whispering quietly, hoping to hide.
As birds sing in the background, a lioness slows down after spotting an uninvited visitor to her hunting grounds – a hyena. Both hyenas and lions are possessive and violent towards each other. Hyena cubs have been known to be killed by lions, and if a lion enters hyena territory, the adult lions protecting the den respond quickly and violently.
Just like when your house cat thinks he’s spotted a mouse, these big cats get down on the ground in a “stalking” pose. They kept their eyes on the hyena as he ran about, wondering whose land he was on.
When he spots the lioness at the last minute, the hyena nearly canters to the lioness! He turned away from the Dodgers in no time! While the hyena was running away, the lion was chasing him.
For a moment, one of the lions got close enough to grab the intruder’s leg in its paws, but they both kept running. At one point, five fast cats chased the hyenas out of their space. All the felines eventually slowed down, allowing the hyenas to leave safely.
One commenter mentioned, “Even wild animals make missteps from time to time, losing an advantage simply by not paying attention to their surroundings. This lucky hyena learned a valuable lesson about being vigilant.” We couldn’t agree more!
Need more videos of big cats? Who can blame you? Check out our favorites below!
- Watch a cornered crocodile fight five grown lions
- Meet the world’s deadliest lion (and rule an empire!)
- The little turtle bullies the big lion in the puddle
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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