About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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29 Comments

on Hyenas vs. Vultures

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Amazing sighting and experience.

Chelsea Allard
Senior Digital Ranger

Glad nothing ever goes to waste out there!

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Stunning pictures James. Gruesome as it is, it is really amazing to watch a scene like this.

Leslie Kaye
Explorer

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.

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

Amazing photos.

Francesca Doria
Senior Digital Ranger

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!

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I loved all the photos🤗

Paul Canales
Digital Tracker

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!!

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I saved the photo vulture trying grab hyena

Nicole Bernhardt
Senior Digital Ranger

Fantastic pictures James

Doug Hammerich
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

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. 🙏🏻💕

Barbi Evenson
Digital Ranger

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

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

Unbelievable sighting and great pictures, I hope we see some video this weekend!

Mama Lioness
Digital Ranger

EE-Ho! Craziness!! Those are some critical pictures! They truly capture the upclose true “Day in the life of the Bush!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

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.

Jennifer Ridgewell
Senior Digital Ranger

The good old food chain! Rather gory but some amazing photos, especially of “the scattering” which also capture the enormous strength of Hyena.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Great to see the rare cape vulture mixin it up with the bigger boys.Those cape vultures are a true natural treasure

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Chaos image caption is unique in that the hyena seemingly has been drowned by the vultures.Photography at its best exhibited.Every Guides wish

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

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.

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