Hyena Protects Den From Intruding Wild Dogs
On the 7th of January 2019, in the late afternoon, Clinton Delport, was busy driving along the H14 road alone, towards the H9 when he spotted hyenas with young at the H9 and H14 junction, near the Kruger National Park’s Phalaborwa gate. These were the same hyenas that were filmed feeding on a leopard later that month on the 14th of January 2019
Clinton stopped his car and was busy watching the hyenas interacting with one another when all of a sudden, a pack of wild dogs, consisting of 17 pack mates in total, appeared!
Clinton quickly took out his camera and began filming the interaction between them. Both the hyenas and the wild dogs stood their ground as the wild dogs began harassing the mother hyena with her cub. The mother hyena, being a mother, did not hesitate to protect her young and one of her young cubs also stood their ground against the harassment, showing how brave he, or she, is.
During the exchange, Clinton admits to feeling pretty scared for the young hyenas, especially in the beginning, as they were completely outnumbered but realised that this was more a show of force and dominance by the wild dogs than an actual attack.
After a short while, the wild dogs lost their interest in the hyenas and went on their way, moving along the H9 towards Phalaborwa gate. But afterwards, though it was clear that the hyenas where a little shaken by their encounter with the dogs, they were okay and kept interacting with and comforting each other.
Once the dogs were on their way and the hyenas settled down, Clinton decided to follow the wild dogs. He followed them for about 5km, as the pack moved on the H9 towards Phalaborwa gate.
For Clinton, this was the second time seeing hyenas and wild dogs interact but the first time actually filming it. Interactions between these two canine species are pretty rare sightings, Clinton states, as he has been going to the park every day for the past 5 years and only seen such interactions twice.
All Clinton can advise when coming across a sighting, for any sightseer or photographer visiting the park, is to “Keep your camera ready and try to keep calm.”