Opportunistic hyenas try to take down a rhino.
Not many animals in Africa want to mess around with a rhinoceros. These are large, mean animals that have few predators in the wild once they reach adult size. However, that is not going to stop an opportunistic predator like the hyena from trying to take advantage of an injured one.
That was the case with this footage taken in South Africa's Kruger National Park. These hyenas have found a rhino that is clearly not at one hundred percent, and they continually harass it, trying to find an opening to bring the big beast down.
The video is hard to watch, but it shows just how cunning and smart the hyenas are as they continually risk life and limb to try to get an opening. The hyenas have already taken the rhino's tail, and it is clear they want a larger meal.
According to the video's description, some of this footage was cut. The hyenas harassed this rhino for at least seven minutes until they disappeared into the brush. Rangers were later called out who darted and assessed the rhino's wounds. When it was determined the animal had a broken leg, it was put down as there is not much they could do. Apparently, veterinarians speculated the rhino likely broke the foot during a fight with another rhino.
The margin for error in the African bush is razor thin for so many animals. Even the smallest of injuries can impede their ability to escape the many predators that are looking every day for an easy meal. Had the hyenas not found this rhino, it is likely some lions would have. For the animals that are not hampered by their injuries, the danger of infection looms large.
Nature can be extremely cruel. It may not be pretty, but this is how things work in one of our world's last truly wild places.
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