Survival of the fittest at Tuli

By Mogomotsi Radinonyane, Professional Safari Guide at Tuli Safari Lodge It didn’t take long for our resident spotted hyenas to pick up the scent of a fresh blue wildebeest carcass, which was killed by a male lion just a stone’s throw from the hyena den in the early hours of this morning.


I started my game drive at half five as usual, with two guests who were keen to see spotted hyenas. I drove to the hyena den that is situated within Tuli Safari Lodge’s property not far from the lodge. When I arrived at the den, I only saw tracks, I looked around but there was no sign of the hyenas. I explained to my guests about the nocturnal scavenging behaviour of spotted hyenas.

I then proceeded with my game drive, only to notice white backed vultures perching patiently on top of nearby trees … I drove closer and just a few metres ahead I saw a blue wildebeest carcass surrounded by a group of spotted hyenas. I drove next to them; they were not bothered by the presence of the safari vehicle as they were busy crushing bones with their powerful jaws.

I then looked around to really check what could have killed that big male blue wildebeest, as I knew that our resident hyenas don’t tend to kill for themselves but rather scavenge most of the time. I then saw lion tracks as the soil was wet from last night’s rain. From the look of things, that group of hyenas had pushed a lion from its kill. Survival of the fittest in action!


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