In the wild, hyenas often earn their reputation as scavengers who steal a meal whenever they can. In the video below, a pack of hyenas swoops in to grab a male lion’s kill before he even realizes what is happening. Some jackals tag along as well.

Even though lions are the apex predators of their environment and could easily take on an adult hyena, the pack of hyenas uses their strength in numbers to get the upper hand. The lion is alone and no match for the many hyenas that surround him. The jackals are smaller and manage to get very close to the lion.

He tries to scare them away by acting aggressively. But he can’t get too far from the kill or he risks one of the many hyenas coming in and grabbing it. The group watching makes loud noises as they witness these events. The video is best watched with the sound on mute if you are easily distracted. While many of the sounds mimic wild animals, they are clearly not actual recordings of the growls, roars, laughs, or other sounds that may come from these animals.

male lion and hyenas
Hyenas live throughout Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.

©AfricaWildlife/Shutterstock.com

At one point, the lion does pounce toward some of the larger hyenas. He doesn’t get close enough to nip or do any damage and quickly goes back to guarding the kill. The hyenas get closer and closer.

A few smaller jackals come in right under the lion’s feet and start to drag the carcass away. Surprisingly, the lion doesn’t do anything about it. Maybe he realizes that the large pack is too big for him to take on. Or perhaps he’s just done with his meal and decides it’s not worth the fight. Either way, the hyenas and jackals run away with a tasty snack to eat.

Some viewers commented that if it was a fresh kill, the encounter would have probably turned out very different. It is likely that the lion had already eaten what he wanted. With a full belly, he is more interested in finding a sunny place for a nap than in fighting off scavengers.

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