Hyena Gives Leopard the Fright of its Life!


It’s not often that a leopard gets caught by surprise because it’s usually the leopard catching its prey by surprise. In this sighting, a sneaky hyena tried its luck and almost scared a leopard out of its wits.

My guests and I left for a morning game drive in the Western Sabi Sands on Christmas morning. We were not even 100m from the lodge when we came across a male leopard sleeping in a miter drain. I stopped at the sighting. We stopped, sat and watched for about 5 minutes while the guests had their cameras out to capture the sighting for their souvenirs.

As we watched the leopard wake up and groom, we noticed a male hyena walking down the road in our direction. We watched and waited as the hyena carefully approached the leopard, taking a step closer and closer each time and the leopard seemingly oblivious of its sniffing visitor while it groomed its paws.

We did not expect the hyena to walk straight up to the leopard and we thought that the leopard would have sensed the hyena right away, but this was not the case.

The leopard slowly got up, almost still in a sleepy daze, and realized with a jolt that the hyena was now almost face to face! It jolted up in defense and jumped back, snarling and growling, warning the hyena to keep a distance.

This was a comical scene, everyone on the vehicle had a good chuckle. After a few seconds, the hyena carried on walking off as there was no reason for him to hang around any longer, there was no potential meal to scavenge for, and so the leopard went back to grooming.

Hyenas are so funny; they dart off like they are truly terrified of other predators but then come back a second later like “lol you almost had me.” It’s the other way round, leopard gave hyena the fright of its life.

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