Hyenas have always been known as the opportunists of the wild, as they take any chance they can get to steal another predator’s food. But, they take any opportunity they can, to go in for the kill themselves.
This incredible video of an injured rhino being attacked by hyenas was taken by Danie Bester (31), a sales representative in the Kruger National Park. He caught up with LatestSightings.com and explained the events of his experience:
“On the morning of the 23rd of October, I decided to go out for an early morning drive. It was a very quiet morning on my way to Malelane heading out after just spending the night at Pretoriuskop camp. On my way, I passed a waterhole where there were 3 Rhinos and a clan of Hyenas. Upon first glance, I did not make much if this sighting but I stopped to have a look anyway. I noticed that the hyenas kept biting at a Rhino’s backside and started wondering why? While the Rhino was moving around trying to get the hyenas away I saw that the Rhino was slightly injured and concluded that that’s why the hyenas were taking their chances.”
“I started filming just after one of the Hyenas ripped of the Rhinos tail and then they started biting it non-stop. They kept going after the wound and biting the Rhino, pulling at the open flesh. The other 2 Rhinos did not help too much, the did not give chase to the hyenas but rather tried keeping behind the injured Rhino as to protect his open wound. The Hyenas were relentless and did not leave the poor rhino alone even for a minute. The biting went on for about 7 minutes, but it felt like much longer. The Rhino took a rising opportunity and started running, Hyenas following close behind they were heading in the direction of the riverbed. I saw them all reach the riverbed and then disappear into the thickets where after I could not relocate them again.”
“This was definitely a once in a lifetime sighting! I am not sure how the scenario ended but I really hope the Rhino got away and lived to see another day, tailless and all… I was surprised at the courage the Hyenas had for taking on the second-biggest member of the big 5 and seemingly succeeding. After a few minutes of watching and filming, I really felt sorry for the Rhino as it seemed helpless, even for its size – but this is nature in its rawest form.”
“I am fortunate enough to spend several weeks in the Kruger and in Pilanesberg a year and even in all the times visiting the Parks, have I ever experienced such a sighting. This was incredible, mesmerizing and just reminds us of how cruel survival can become in the wild. Even though this might be heartbreaking to watch, this is nature.”
Louis, general manager and Jock Safari Lodge, received this sighting from Mayneth. Mayneth is a Jock Safari guide who was also at the sighting.
Louis reported this to the SANParks section ranger. Later, the Kruger Vets went and darted the rhino to see what was happening. It seemed as though the leg was broken from a possible fight with another bull rhino. The decision was made to euthanize the rhino as nothing further could be done.