For a number of days a pack of wild dogs had been seen around the Ximpalapala clearings. One day 5 dogs would be seen, the next 4, the next 6. Our hopes were raised that the dogs may have been denning somewhere in the vicinity, but it wasn’t long before we realised that the regular pack of 9 that is seen in the Sabi Sands had split up and were trying to find each other.

In any event, we headed North over the Sand River early one morning to try and find the pack and hopefully see them hunting. It wasn’t long before Renias Mhlongo found their tracks and established a direction, and shortly after that we were with the pack on the hunt.

Wild Dogs have one of the highest success rates among predators; catching prey over 70% of the time they go hunting. Today was no exception, as they managed to bring down an impala after having chased it into a thicket. The noisy feeding of the pack attracted the attention of a nearby hyena who came loping in to see if he could steal some scraps from the carcass.

The dogs were having none of it, and made it very clear that they resented the hyena’s presence.
The hyena was persistent however, but he came a bit too close and one of the dogs latched onto his nose, refusing to let go while the hyena squealed in pain!

Wild dogs have one of, if not the strongest bite for an animal of their size, so the hyena was very lucky to get away with little more than a very painful nose and a bruised ego. He still came back for more, and this time was lucky enough to grab a piece of meat which he promptly made off with.

His tenacity was rewarded in the end, but I doubt he will forget that bite on his nose in a hurry!

Filmed by Jack Wilson (Londolozi Guest)
Written by James Tyrrell

Filed under Guests Wildlife

About the Author

Alex Van Den Heever


Alex spent his formative years growing up on a cattle farm in the Western Cape, South Africa. After completing his studies in Marketing and Business Management, he joined world-renowned Londolozi game reserve in 1995 as a game ranger. Alex’s greatest fascination during his ...

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on Wild Dog Bites Hyena

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Ouch! – incredible – amazing that the hyena persisted, and that it paid off – ouch again!!

Tony Goldman

Wow what a fabulous siting and excellent video


Wow, I am surprised the dogs didnt’ take him apart.. Guess they were too focused on the meal at hand.
I love Hyena’s.. They are quite intelligent and ever so curious.
thank you for sharing


Ouch! This video made me squirm a little.

Wendy Hawkins

Man oh man what a tenacious soddy hyena! just didn’t want to give up & still grabbed a bit – eish!!! He’s very lucky the Dogs weren’t serious or he would have been a dead hyena!!! Thanks once again James & Jack


Fred and I are wondering at a repeat view of the video why the dogs didn’t go for the throat when the hyena turned over. In fact, it didn’t look like any of them touched him except the one who had the nose-hold. Is it typical that they don’t try and kill a hyena.

And, what a classic ending – hyena prancing off carrying a scrap.

Jo Lynne

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