Food chain

Kaizer and Loderick tracked down a pride of 10 lions that were enjoying a post-meal snooze. They perked up when we arrived.

That’s a subadult male in front. His mane is still growing in, he’s about 3 or 4 years old. One of the females was prowling around while everyone else lounged. 

The reason? A couple of spotted hyena were circling the lions’ kill. The lioness eventually settled down for a nap, which meant the hyenas could grab a snack. 

When I was hanging out with the hyena specialist at Phinda, I asked if hyenas are predators or scavengers. He very pointedly said they are hunters who are willing to scavenge. These two were definitely up for scavenging. While keeping an eye out for lions. 

And then the jackals showed up to finish the carcass. I’m always surprised at how small and cute jackals are. I couldn’t get a good pic on my phone but here’s one from the interwebs, with a lion for scale:

Pretty cool to see the food chain in action!

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