Summertide Diary: Hyenas versus Elephant

Yesterday we promised you more photos of the fascinating interaction between the Spotted Hyenas and Elephant at Hapoor Dam in Addo Elephant National Park, and here they are.

When we arrived on the scene, the hyenas were quite far from the road and only barely visible without binoculars (or a 300mm camera lens). We could see they were eating, but couldn’t figure out what. Then one adult hyena picked up a sizable chunk of meat and started walking towards us, followed closely by a sub-adult with a piece of leg in its mouth. As they came closer we could identify the prey item as a buffalo calf, or what was left of it anyway. Whether it was caught by the hyenas themselves or killed by lions and then stolen we’ll never know. In any event, the hyenas promptly deposited their meat in a drinking trough on the opposite side of the road to where the actual Hapoor Dam is. Caching food in this fashion is quite well-known hyena behaviour.

The hyenas were still tussling in the water, apparently not knowing whether they want to save their meal for later or gobble it all up now, when a big elephant bull appeared out of the spekboom-thicket some distance away. And he was obviously on a mission. In no time the elephant closed the distance to the hyenas, and while the courage of the younger of the two predators gave in much quicker than that of his older pack mate both had to vacate their bath-cum-larder before the agitated bull got too close. For his part the elephant then gave the fouled water one indignant sniff before moving across the road to drink from Hapoor Dam proper.

With the elephant gone, the hyenas quickly moved back to their pantry, retrieved their meat and continued their meal. The day was heating up though and the Pied Crows were starting to get really annoying, and so they put their meat away a final time to be enjoyed later.

27 thoughts on “Summertide Diary: Hyenas versus Elephant

  1. Una

    De Wet, ek lê in die oggende in die bed en lees die blogs. Hierdie laaste ruk sukkel ek met joune. Ek kyk op my foon, en helfde van jou fotos en geskryf daarby is oormekaar. Dink jy daar is fout my my stellings? Dit klink nie of ander daaroor kla nie.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Ek is baie jammer om van jou frustrasie te hoor, Una. Ongelukkig is ek hopeloos met die tegniese goed en weet ek nie eers waar om te begin om dit op te los nie. Jammer weer, en dankie dat jy nogtans kom inloer.

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