Winter is not the best time for hippo bulls; lower water levels as we reach the end of the dry season means fiercer and fiercer clashes for territory, some of which result in the death of one of the participants.
A carcass of a hippo was found in the north of Londolozi that we can only presume succumbed to his wounds from such a fight, and although sad to see, a dead animal of this size means a glut of meat for the scavengers.
Over the course of two drives – a grey blustery afternoon and the following morning – the following action took place…
Amazing sighting and experience.
Glad nothing ever goes to waste out there!
Stunning pictures James. Gruesome as it is, it is really amazing to watch a scene like this.
Love your Blog and watch it every morning but the bloody feast is hard for me to look at. I know they all have to survive but its brutality is so harsh. I’m not a ‘powder puff’ female ….I just have a very sensitive heart and I feel everything deeply .,. I have very high EQ … that’s the cool definition these days.
I am relieved that the dead animal was not eaten alive by hyenas. Are there males around too or is it a clan of females with young ones only? Great pictures of the vultures, Cape vultures should be treasured as those animals have such an important ecological role. It must have been exciting to be in the middle of the chaos!
James, I loved all the photos🤗
What an incredible scene! I can only image how chaotic and rapidly evolving it was. We’re you able to capture any video James? Hopefully for a future post on IG or “Week in Videos” post!!
James, I saved the photo vulture trying grab hyena
Fantastic pictures James
What an exciting and dramatic scene. With such an abundance of carrion, it almost seems the vultures and hyenas semi-tolerate each other’s presence. I wonder what a fuss a pride of lions might make if it decided to participate.
Incredible shots James! ‘Chaos’ topping the list..quite a bizarre shot as at a first glance, it looks as though the hyena has become half vulture! It must have been incredible to watch and would have made an amazing video. 🙏🏻💕
Wow! The energy at a sighting like that must be overwhelming…
Every hair on my body would be standing up!
And I know the calm that comes after is so serine…. I love the passion of Londolozi
Amazing photos… Thank you
Unbelievable sighting and great pictures, I hope we see some video this weekend!
EE-Ho! Craziness!! Those are some critical pictures! They truly capture the upclose true “Day in the life of the Bush!
James, what an incredible sighting and great photos. Between the hyenas and the vultures, It seems no other predator or opportunists would have had a chance to feed on this hippo. You always bring us interesting reports from your daily journeys and I so appreciate the updates.
The good old food chain! Rather gory but some amazing photos, especially of “the scattering” which also capture the enormous strength of Hyena.
Nature’s very own undertakers will efficiently clean the ecosystem with great determination & vigour. Love the way these two scavengers are playing their natural waste disposal roles.
Great to see the rare cape vulture mixin it up with the bigger boys.Those cape vultures are a true natural treasure
l noted that vultures have a feeding hierachy which also is according to adaptations for feeding ie beaks have different strength as not all vultures can rip open carcasses meaning they always have to await the lappet faced to do the official opening or breaking open the carcass , albeit the white backed arriving first.
Vultures and Spotted hyeana both have very complex , specialised digestive enzymes that actively neutralise any potential harmful pathogens found in carcass.their stomach lining has acidic components which help dissolve any potential harmful stuff in their tract.
Rank will always be relevant when its feeding time in hyeana whereas in Vultures its more a matter of securing an excellent position during the feeding bonanza.
Vulture crop filled can usually make the bird survive up to 3days without food.l stand to be corrected this is partly due to the digestive system being self regulated by the bird , l mean if there is abundant food resources they quicken their digestion then when hard times come by they slow down their metabolism
Chaos image caption is unique in that the hyena seemingly has been drowned by the vultures.Photography at its best exhibited.Every Guides wish
As gory as the images seem , its only nature exhibiting its waste disposal agents cleaning the ecosystem. without them the veld would be contaminated thus bringing more diseases.
Two different cleaning crews at work – very efficiently too – and everyone benefits. That’s economy for you. Quite revolting to watch for someone who does not participate in cleaning up dead hippos! Wendy M
I posted my comment. But it does not appear to be at the end of the list below. Wendy M
Amazing series of photos!!!
Which type of vultures are more abundant in the londolozi environs.Does the Lappet dominate gatherings?
Perhaps the Capies were on holiday or wintering in their summer palace? GPS not working?