Eric and his guests witnessed this recent sighting of a lioness chasing hyenas away from a buffalo kill. We are in the middle of one of the most severe droughts in recent memory. Although the condition of most of our herbivores are still good, they are definitely weaker. Our lions have changed their hunting behavior as they are now targeting buffaloes more than usual. Lions are opportunists and would hunt any animal that they come across during their nightly wanderings. Killing a buffalo is a huge prize, with enough meat to last a few days, and they are also fairly easy to catch if you have the stomach for the ensuing fight. The risk of severe injury to lions are now significantly less than normal as the buffaloes are weaker than normal.
Hyenas and lions are arch enemies, and battles around kills have been fought since the beginning of time. Hyenas, who are very good hunters in their own right, will scavenge when the opportunity presents itself. They would disperse from the den site to go hunting for food. They would either go alone or in small groups of up to 3 or 4. Other members of the clan would be quick to react to the excited whoops and chatter going on near a kill as reinforcements are called in. Hyenas have a good chance to intimidate lionesses and younger males when they outnumber them by about 4 to 1. The presence of a big male would usually swing the pendulum in the lions’ favor.
Interesting to note the presence of a 3-legged hyena approaching the lion kill. It is a birth defect and a miracle that she survived this long. There must be very few mammals species around where the kind of social system exist to allow for the survival of a weaker member of society. She is quite awkward when walking, but can probably ran as quick as any hyena as can be seen from this video footage of the lioness chasing hyenas from the buffalo kill.