Apex Video of Lions versus Hyenas in Tanzania’s Serengeti
Posted by Marco Tonoli
Apex field leader, Marco Tonoli, captured this remarkable video footage of lions versus hyenas on a recent Apex safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti.
“I have had the privilege to witness many remarkable creatures in the world, but the moments that stick out are always times of incredible species interactions.”
In the African landscape, some of the great interactions are between super predators, most specifically lions versus hyenas. On this particular morning, we were returning to a location in the Serengeti where we had spent some time with a rather hungry looking pride of 24 lions the previous afternoon.
As we arrived back in the area, the first creature we found was an engorged looking adult Spotted Hyena covered from nose to neck in blood. Now that’s a sight that gets your heart beating faster. Five minutes later we passed a handful of very similar looking hyena and we knew something big had gone down during the night. We soon found the sight of the action and located the pride of lion feeding on the remains of a large zebra. Surrounding the lion were about 18 hyenas (so the odds stacked up in favor of the lion). It seemed like everyone was content.
We sat for three hours with these animals, to a point where eventually the adult female lions began to peel off the carcass, leaving it “less” protected. In a matter of seconds, two young male lions appeared out of the grass and came jogging in with purpose and aggression. They promptly chased off the lone lioness that was left at the carcass. Then, the hyenas began to mobilize and all were up and circling the kill. The male lions didn’t have much time on the kill as the big females of the pride heard the commotion and returned in numbers. In a swift 15 second interaction, they proceeded to give the young male lions a serious walloping that had the earth trembling with guttural roars, flying dust, and brawling lion.
With the kill unattended, the hyena moved in, but there wasn’t much left for 18 hyenas. They too began their own hyena squabble with shrieks of hyena “laughs” and the occasional yelp as the dominant females took snaps at the smaller males. In a matter of minutes, it was all gone and the action was done. The experience was one that I’ll never forget!