Rock and a hard place: Rooibok on the horns of dilemma

2013-03-20 00:00

BETWEEN a rock (python) and a hard place.

That was the dramatic situation a young rooibok found itself in, in the Thornybush reserve near the Kruger Park.

While a huge python was busy crushing the buck to death, it struggled in vain to escape from a hyena.

“It was an unbelievably dramatic incident, which really showed the hard reality of nature,” said Jack Hutchinson, manager of the KwaMbili Lodge in the reserve, who caught the drama on film.

He was on a game drive last Thursday when he heard rooibok distress cries and turned back to look for the animals, suspecting they were being stalked by a leopard.

On a dirt road he came across the buck, entangled in the powerful coils of a giant python.

“It is the type of thing you don’t see every day,” he said.

But things soon got worse for the buck when a hyena emerged from the bush.

“The buck got itself on its front legs, looked round in a panic, saw the hyena and struggled even more desperately to escape,” added Hutchinson.

He said the hyena was curious, but very cautious.

“It slinked closer step by step, but then caught a whiff of something and ran back into the bush,” Hutchinson said.

Meanwhile, the buck’s struggles dragged the python off the road and Hutchinson left, thinking the the snake would have let the buck go because it was disturbed.

Later, however, a ranger came upon a hyena feeding on the carcass of a rooibok, as reported by Nadav Ossendryver of Kruger Sightings on the Whats­App social network.

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