Lurking scavenger & predator

While the African wild dogs were enjoying their meal (presumably an impala kill), a suspicious movement away from the pack, caught our attention. Slowly walking out of the bush and revealing itself was a spotted hyena!

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Lurking | Spotted Hyena ~ Kruger National Park, South Africa

Known to scavenge not only on scraps but also to chase away the hunter from its kill, the spotted hyena is quite an unrelenting animal especially when there’s a bunch of them. But here the odds were against the hyena! A single hyena didn’t stand a chance against a pack of wild dogs.

By now the wild dogs were aware of a sly hyena doing the rounds. Two or three dogs kept the hyena at bay while the others went about their meal. Anticipating some action, I kept track of the hyena’s movement. Gathering some courage, the hyena finally moved towards the feeding pack. The moment the hyena crossed the comfort line, a warning was given by the dogs.

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Walking back disappointed | Spotted Hyena ~ Kruger National Park, South Africa

Not wanting to risk injuries, the hyena opted for a hasty retreat. If only the hyena had more companions, if only!

Images shot with Nikon D850 + 200-400 VR

Indian striped Hyena

Indian Striped Hyena
Mavanhalla, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, Southern India

As the last rays of the sun were fading, I decided to put away the camera. I turned it off and lowered the camera down without letting my eyes off the surrounding. From a distance, I spotted a figure ‘trotting’ in our direction. As it came closer and closer, I let out a subdued yell… HYENA!!! This one came very close and paused for a few precious seconds. Secretly praying for it to not move, I lifted my camera, shot up the ISO to 3200, under-exposed to get a better shutter speed and fired away! Incredibly lucky to see this “near threatened” species at such close quarters.