Safari guide Mark Tennant was in the thick of the action when a wildebeest herd decided to stand their ground and fight off an encroaching wild dog pack. The dominant male wildebeest eyed out a weak link in the pack and began a deadly assault, making a bee line for the dog! But while some prey fight back, retaliation is not always under a hunter’s control. Amanda van Ryneveld was thrilled when she saw a lion pride kill an impala. What she didn’t expect was the interest the impala peaked in a herd of buffalo. Coming in to investigate, the buffalo charge the lions and force them off the kill. Another interesting and poignant moment captured on film occurred when tourist Jill Doak witnessed a group of young lions maul a honey badger. The badger put up a brave defense, but to no avail.
Innovative ways of finding food can increase an animal’s survival. Game ranger Gavin Lautenbach watches as a clan of hyenas mass enough forces to gain the courage to steal a kill away from the lion feeding off it. Baboons at Cape Point Nature Reserve, in South Africa, use their size and power to intimidate tourists into dropping the food they bring into the reserve. Ice cream, bread, sweets and orange juice are consumed readily; nothing escapes the opportunistic eyes of the crafty Cape Point Gang.
When several predators share an environment, food fights are common. Once a kills been made, a hunter must defend it! Numbers, group dynamics and crafty-ness all come into play as chance thieves attempt to gain access to the hunter’s hard earned meal. A lion pride muscle in to pilfer a jackal kill, while a solitary cheetah looses her gazelle to two marauding baboons. A wild dog pack must also fend off a solitary hyena intent on stealing their dinner. Meal robbers come in all shapes and sizes, even when the risks of appropriating a kill are high. Jono Kelmanson found out first hand when a leopard crept onto a lion kill to feed. The four lionesses, only a short distance away, immediately launched a full scale attack! The leopard retaliated and a shocked Jono kept his camera rolling as the leopard fought for his life.