eternal enemies

One of the wild dogs' biggest competitors is the spotted hyena. It is a constant boxing match between these two animals; one will knock from the one side and the other will retaliate and smash from the other side.

wild dogs on a kill with pups

A few weeks ago I watched the wild dog pack bring down an impala in the early hours of the morning. They killed and began to eat it, only to be found by two hyenas who tried their luck in taking the meal away. The wild dogs were not having anything of this - they chased the hyenas off, biting them on the hindquarters as they scurried away in fright.

Spotted Hyena with a carcass

The hyenas on the other hand were also not having any of this and began to call and yelp. This alerted every hyena within the area and they moved in as a well-organized force. 15 hyenas grouped and mobbed the dogs. The dogs tried to hold their ground for a second, but because they had their pups with them, they retreated to a safe distance and watched 15 crazed hyena feed on their enemies' hard-earned meal.

wild dog at sabi sabi

Hyena and wild dog have been at each other for many years. We are just so privileged here at Sabi Sabi, to be able, first of all to see these elusive and shy animals (the dogs) in their natural environment and also to experience them at war with Africa's most underestimated hunter and predator the 'hyena'. We are also privileged to be able to show guests these scenes that will be etched in their memories for years and years to come.

by: will lawson - head ranger, bush lodge

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