This leopard had to earn her kill back!
Africa has a ton of predator species and because of that, almost every one of these animals has their head on a swivel every time they make a kill. Mostly because many predators will not shy away from stealing a kill from another if they can get away with it. Swiping someone else's hard work is a way to reap all the benefits with minimal effort.
Hyenas are especially notorious for doing this. These animals have bone-crushing jaws and are quite capable of catching their own food. However, they are quite intimidating, and they use this to their advantage to steal kills all the time.
Such was the case with this fresh video out of South Africa's Kruger National Park. A female leopard patiently sits waiting for the right opportunity. Her persistence pays off with a perfect ambush of an impala. Unfortunately, she had not counted on a nearby hyena looking to spoil her day and it results in a brief tussle over who gets to eat first.
It seems like the leopard knew trouble was around. She was looking all over from the moment she downed the leopard. It seems likely she smelled the hyena in the area and knew it would come to investigate. Lions and even wild dogs regularly try to swipe carcasses from leopards.
As a result, most leopards drag their kills like this up into trees to keep it safe from the many scavengers that would opportunistically swipe it. That would have kept this leopard's kill safe from the hyena, but we suspect she simply did not have time to drag it up a tree before the hyena was looking to take her meal.
In this instance, it seems both animals were content to get away with a piece of the leopard rather than duke it out for the whole thing. Mostly because fighting is a risky proposition for predators. A broken foot, claw or tooth can be a death sentence in the right circumstances. In this case, both animals live to hunt and feed another day.
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