Hyenas have always been known as the opportunists of the wild, taking any chance to steal another predator’s food or to go in for the kill.
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, earlier in October this year near Pretoriuskop Camp.
Bester says, "I decided to go out for an early morning drive. It was a very quiet morning on my way to Malelane. On my way, I passed Kwaggaspan 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 off 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.
In the video, you can the hyenas are relentless and do not leave the poor rhino alone even for a minute.
Bester says 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.”
Bester admits nature in its rawest form was really "hard to watch and film, even if it was a once in a lifetime sighting"
"I was surprised at the courage the hyenas had for taking on the second biggest member of the big 5 and seemingly succeeding. 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 heart-breaking to watch, this is nature.”