Photographers and tourists are willing to go for hours under the blazing sun of the Kgalagadi desert to get beautiful and realistic shots of the animals’ lives. Michele Nel and her husband are one of them, after a day on the dry land, they finally witness a dramatic fight that clearly shows the harshness of the wild nature.
December is the time after the rainy season in Southern Africa, although it is still hot and the land is still arid. Zooming in on a Jeep that was rolling slowly on the trail, Michele spotted two jaguars eating an adult antelope, which took a lot of effort to hunt down this prey.
Then another leopard joined the group to enjoy the delicious bait. This antelope is enough for all three to have a full meal. Michele tried to capture as much as possible and was careful not to get too close, to avoid scaring the leopards.
While Michele continued to observe the three leopards, her husband spotted a large male hyena approaching. Hyenas are not as agile predators as jaguars, but they are very mischievous opportunists. Michele knew for sure that something interesting was about to happen.
Detecting an approaching danger, 1 in 3 jaguars stop eating to be on the lookout. While the hyena continued to run in a straight line to ruin the party of the three leopards, it did not appear to be afraid to face the crowd.
Usually hyenas attack in groups, however this large male acts alone.
Apparently a large brown hyena, it was solitary and very aggressive. Although famous for being cunning, this time the hyena simply rushed to fight for food, causing the three leopards to panic and drift to the side.
The hyena blatantly came to take the jaguar’s meal.
It also intends to drag its prey elsewhere.
With the above photo, it can be seen that the hyena is bigger and “muscular” than the jaguar, so even though they have the advantage of the majority, the leopards do not dare to fight back carelessly.
The jaguar decided to keep his distance and pull his prey towards him, still dodging, not daring to actually confront the stronger enemy.
A “tuck” between two predators begins.
The stronger had won, and the jaguar watched helplessly as the bandit took the prey it had worked so hard to hunt. Meanwhile, a third person is watching from afar waiting for the opportunity to raise his hand on the spoils.
While the hyena and the jaguar were snarling at each other, the jackals stood in the distance plotting a plan.
The battle between leopards and hyenas is getting fierce, 3 leopards split up to surround the opponent in the middle, although they are not strong enough to overwhelm the hyenas.
However, the efforts of the leopards caused the hyenas to leave their prey and fight directly. The jaguars should have joined forces, if all three attacked at the same time, the hyena would certainly not be able to resist. However that did not happen.
Only 1 leopard fought with the opponent while the other 2 could only watch.
The leopards paid the price for their cowardice and the prey fell into the hands of the stronger and braver. The hyenas take advantage of the most nutritious part of the antelope immediately, the liver and organs, which provide the complete protein a carnivore needs.
The hyena enjoys “antelope liver” as soon as possible.
However, the delicious food made the hyenas vulnerable, the leopards quickly jumped in to pull the prey towards them. While the jackal is still waiting patiently, it has not yet intervened in this fight.
It turned out that the jackal did not attack immediately because it was waiting for its companions, they are smaller than leopards and hyenas, so they need a large number to be able to dominate the opponent. The battle between 3 species of predators forms the foot of the cauldron to compete for the ill-fated antelope.
Two jackals worked together to steal the antelope’s ‘inner suit’, they temporarily accepted what they found. Wild jackals live very disciplined lives, the older ones get to eat first and the younger kids have to wait their turn.
The small dog had to crouch to let the older companion enjoy the food first.
Wild jackals live in packs, they will soon rush to snatch what remains of their prey. Can hyenas resist a new enemy outnumbered and more persistent than jaguars?
Jackals are small, but when needed, they will become reckless, they cling like leeches.
The hyena used to easily defeat the jaguars, but had difficulty facing the tenacious and cunning jackals, it seemed difficult to swallow its prey.
Michele Nel’s series of photos show the life of wild animals in a barren African desert. The beasts have to both hunt and protect the results against the opportunists that are always waiting around. Just like human society, animals must use both strength and intelligence if they want to survive.