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3 days ago

Hyena Tries Drowning Rival

Latest Sightings
Latest Sightings
The rivalry over territory can become an ugly one at times. And, when wild animals clash, you can be sure that there are never 2 winners, there will always be one between the two that pulls the shortest straw.

In December 2019, Vicky Stephenson, a 29-year-old field guide and camp manager, heard strange hyena calls from their camp in Ingwelala, Greater Kruger National Park. It seemed like it was coming from the riverbed. Latestsightings.com asked her to explain the events of that day.

“When we heard the strange hyena calls, we quickly headed off to find out what was going on. Two hyenas were in the river – battling it out! One was the dominant and the other one trying to retreat.”

To license the footage:

“We were all shocked as it was the first time any of us had seen such a vicious struggle between hyenas. It was harsh to watch as the hyena being struck was already badly wounded and looked exhausted and in pain. We felt obligated to watch though, as this was fascinating, especially being a field guide and never having seen something like this before – although –not pleasant to watch.”

“After about 2 hours of on and off fighting, we saw the original dominant and 2 other hyenas heading down the road towards the injured hyena, and at that stage, we knew that the hyena would not survive the last fight, so we decided to leave it in peace. We later found out from the office that the hyenas had finished the hyena off after we left.”

“We sent our footage through to a hyena expert to find out what they thought could have been the reason for such a battle. She explained that the 4 hyenas involved were all males. The young hyena (she could tell by the teeth) being pushed had probably recently left his clan to find another clan to join, as males will do to ensure genetic variation. The 3 males of this territory weren’t happy about it, which is something that happens from time to time.”

“This was the worst hyena encounter I have ever seen. Usually, you get the normal scuffle at food, but never an intense ongoing battle like this one. Even though it’s never pleasant watching any animal in distress, it is nature, which always has a purpose, and if you can stomach it –it’s a sighting you will never forget and probably never get to watch again! So take as much video and photos as possible, because it could be educational to others.