Sabi Sabi’s Eternal Enemies

Michael Laubscher All Authors, Michael 1 Comment

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve home to spectacular wildlife such as the so well known, BIG 5 but with its diverse habitat it is also home to some 200 other animal species that are indigenous to the area. The Sabi Sands Wildtuin is most famous for its leopard population and close quarters sightings of them.

Everything plays a role in the environment, from big to small. One of the main rolls for all is to control the population of others.

In this blog I’ll be chatting about an adrenaline pumped sighting I witnessed between two eternal enemies, the leopard and hyena.

On a early, very cool, cloudy morning safari we picked up the tracks of a female leopard heading west away from Bush Lodge. We followed and sadly lost them a couple of metres away from where we found the first tracks. We decided to keep heading west on that same road to see if she had came back out. Eventually, we were not too far from a beautiful open plain. Here we picked up on not only that females tracks but also a drag mark. This is the mark a carcass makes when a predator drags it around.

We thought she would have already taken the kill up a tree due to the high hyena population in the Sabi sands. So we made our way up along the tree line of the open area and there she was. WE FOUND HER!

She was lying resting having fed already. Yes leopard are very powerful and can hoist a carcass up into a tree unless its too heavy. In this case it was, she pulled down a massive male impala.

Hyena out on their patrol every night always keep their eyes and ears open for leopard activity because they know they are a easy target to steal food from.

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Yes on this particular morning it happened!

This hyena, probably on its was back home picked up on the scent if the impala that was hidden underneath some brush and went to investigate. It circled the leopard a few times and before we knew it…

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The hyena chased the leopard up a tree and her hard earned meal was gone!

Or so we thought…

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Once the hyena took off with its cheap break fast, the leopard jumped out of the tree and with all the excitement we did not notice a large chunk of meat rip off the carcass while the hyena ran off.

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She sure did!

What happened we have no idea but that same hyena, after the leopard hoisted her snack came running past us as fast as it could and into the drainage line.

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The leopard came down again once she secured her meat in the tree. We thought thats it and its time for her to find a place to rest.

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That was clearly not the case. How this girl fed, ripped apart and hid her food was strange, like she knew that a hyena will walk through and take what is rightfully hers. Thankfully for her she had a back up plan by hiding a separate piece of meat not too far from where we first found here which she then hoisted as well.

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All the drama was over, the hyena was gone and her food was now safe, she found a preferred area where she finally lay her head to rest.

This will not be her last encounter with this enemy. Its an endless battle!

The amazing thing about the Sabi Sands is that the interactions one can witness are amazing and this was one of my favourites.

Thank you for taking the time to read a blog that could hopefully come to life for you one day.

Until next time!

Happy snapping!

Michael

About the Author

Michael Laubscher

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Haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”! I look forward to sharing life long experiences with you and helping you capture them. Please feel free to go check out my Instagram account

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