Once the hyena was dragged up the tree, he no longer stood any chance. Instead of being the one to lock his firm jaws around flesh and bones, he now felt the powerful grip of the Maxabeni 3:2 Young Male Leopard around the back of his neck. Suspended 5 meters up and wailing for assistance from any creature that might hear him, the only other animal that arrived was the Maxabeni 3:3 young Male Leopard. After one too many stolen kills and aggressive encounters, the Maxabeni Leopard Brothers were now exacting their revenge….
It is hard to surmise precisely why this encounter happened as leopards do not typically hunt, let alone eat, hyenas. The obvious conclusion suggests the unsuspecting hyena was in the wrong place at the wrong time; suffering the actions of the two brothers who act more confidently than usual when together. The small, lone hyena stood no chance against the two brutes who opportunistically decided to attack him. He was an unsuspecting victim in the ecosystem. But is there a deeper reason as to this aggressive outburst on the side of the Maxabeni brothers?
The hyena population at Londolozi has increased largely over the last 5 years largely owing to the instability of the lion dynamics as well as the growth of the prey species populations. The increase in competition for food has led to greater conflict than normal between the leopards and hyena. You will remember our post, Hyenas chase Maxabeni Brothers off a Kill. Surely these such encounters only add to the leopards’ motive for acting with such aggression towards hyenas?
The maturity of these two brothers has also crossed through my mind. Are they at the stage whereby they are now looking to assert themselves dominantly? Is this the beginning of further conflict between these two predators and even between their own species? The brothers are still living underneath their mothers care despite being over 24 months of age. Natural aggressive tendencies and dominant instincts could well be coming forward prominently as they mature each day.
What other reasons do you think contributed to this rare and isolated event between the two brothers and the hyena occurring? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Filmed by: John Caden (Londolozi Guest)
Photographed by: Linda Caden (Londolozi Guest)