Crocodile Tries to Steal Lion's Kill. Hyenas and a Leopard Watch


Nov 17 2015

 

Annette Naude, videographer of this adrenalin pumping scene declares, “We were in awe! How was it possible to witness such interaction? We were desperately clinging to every second, as it’s unlikely we will ever again behold something like this!” Addicted to the Kruger National Park they visit at least every two months. On this particular occasion they were on a sunset drive from Paul Kruger Gate and were driving on the H4-1, a little beyond the H12 bridge headed towards Lower Sabie. And shortly after dark, the sighing unfolded...

 
She says, “Earlier in the day we heard that there had been a leopard with an impala kill in a tree! But consequently, baboons had chased it away. So we set out to find the leopard, and of course anything else we could find along the way.”  When they arrived they saw two lions in the road, and something lying flat in-between them. They assumed it was another lion...
 
'What a splendid surprise to discover it was a huge crocodile! And it appeared the lions were unsure of how to handle this crocodile, as they had to jump a few times to dodge its mighty jaw snaps. They were panting, so this has been going on for a period before we arrived.” But further to their surprise, they spotted another crocodile in the bush with an impala carcass. 'This is when we realised we had found the sighting we set out for!  But with action far beyond our expectations.'
 
The lions were fighting the crocodile, and started dragging away the prey. 'We drove on a little way to see if we could find the leopard, and surprisingly came across a hyena running towards the action.   
 
Trevor Carnaby, author “Beat about the Bush’ says, “Even lions, supposedly the ‘kings of the jungle’, have problems, and although the mere sight or sent of a lion is enough to scare the daylights out of any other predator, there are exceptions. Spotted hyenas in numbers also periodically kill lions they manage to corner - and not necessarily old, sick animals either. The leopard as far as I am concerned is the enigma. Although it is purely ranked on the larger predator hierarchy, I have witnessed how on various occasions it has turned the tables on spotted hyenas and lions.'
 
The hyena was brave and kept approaching! And although in numbers they will not hesitate to attack, when it saw the other lion coming onto the road, he hurriedly departed.”  And time was starting to run out for the party, the 'Park' gates were going to close! 
 
Despite not being ready to depart, they started making their way back towards camp. But alas, “It was then, as we geared away that we saw the leopard we initially set out to see. The one who did all the hard work to make the kill! He crossed the road right before us. That was four major predators in one sighting, something doesn't happen every day! Driving away it almost felt surreal”.
 
Written by Tracy Burrows. 
 
Commentary and video by Annette Naude

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