One morning we came across the 3 young lions on an eland kill. The 3 youngsters are spending more and more time away from the adults as they get older – they’re roughly 1.5 years old. We have been very impressed to see them hunt and kill some rather large animals and the eland was the biggest yet…weighing in at roughly 800 kg.
They had had their ‘lions share’ and were resting away from the carcass when 2 spotted hyenas came wandering through. Hyenas and lions are notorious enemies as the hyenas constantly hound lions for heir kills and, in numbers, are an equal match to the big cats.
We waited in anticipation to see what might happen as the young female caught sight of them. She got into stalking mode and headed towards them. When she got within about 7 metres there was a stand-off. At this stage, the male lions showed no interest and just watched from 100 m away. Eventually, the female took off after them amidst much growling and dust and we saw them disappear into the thick bush. The one male eventually decided to see if he could help and ambled over but, by that stage, the female had seen the hyenas off and the intense interaction was over.
It’s wonderful to see wild animals in their natural environment as we do everyday here at Nambiti Hills but these interactions are what make for really special memories.
- Ross Cairns, Game Guide, Nambiti Hills