Ashlea Dennison, a 25-year-old dentistry student attending the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, captured this amazing sighting on the 6 th of April 2019. Ashlea, who was visiting the park with her boyfriend tell us in her own words about this amazing sighting:
“There we were, driving along the H4-2 (The main road coming into the park from Crocodile Bridge) around 11:00 and we took the second sand road on the west side which leads to a dead end with a view of the Gezanftombi waterhole. We saw the birds not far along, on the northern side of the road.
We noticed a number of vultures and some smaller birds around the area, which is why we suspected a kill, or some sort of food source, then we saw the Kori Bustard not far off the road which caused the vultures to fly to the nearby trees. We started to drive further on when we noticed the Secretary bird take flight from a tree close by, we stopped and watched where it would land.
When it landed by the area where the Kori bustard was, we reversed the car to see what would happen. As we saw them starting to fight, we decided to video it because we had never seen anything like it before.
We were very excited when we saw this sighting because these birds are both amazing sightings on their own and we have never seen either of them behave in this manner before. After the Secretary bird chased the little birds away at the end of the video, the Kori Bustard and the Secretary bird seemed to mind their own business while remaining in the same area.
This sighting was incredibly rare for us. We have seen both the Secretary bird and the Kori Bustard alone on multiple occasions when we have visited the park, however, we have never seen either of these birds act in an aggressive manner towards any other bird before, or towards any other animal for that matter. These 2 birds always appear to be minding their own business when we see them in the park.
I would’ve loved to see what the cause of the fight was but due to the length of the grass, we couldn’t see what was on the ground. We can only assume that there was an abandoned kill because of the vultures’ present.
I would advise that anyone who is lucky enough to see a sighting such as this, to not interfere and to let nature play out as it would if we weren’t there.”