Nature may be red in tooth and claw, but never uncouth

2014-05-06 00:00

NORMALLY they will settle the rights to a piece of meat with a snap and growl, but this time the posturing for piece of pork went on for five minutes, during which time neither jackal nor vulture gave a quarter.

Constant Hoogstad of the Endangered Wildlife Trust photographed the entire championship bout at a vulture restaurant in Limpopo.

It was probably not the jackal’s attempt to snatch a bite from carcass that enraged the vulture, but its bad manners.

Like all birds, vultures have a strict pecking order and different species have different roles to play in opening a carcass. Hoogstad said the vulture chased off this jackal without injuring anything other than its pride and it later slunk back to eat with the smaller vultures at the back of the queue.

Hoogstad said all vultures are threatened in South Africa and it is vital to protect them.

“They play a very important role in the health of the eco system and are the farmer’s friend,” he said.

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