Two rival apex predators, a leopard and a hyena, were caught on camera sharing an impala meal – and a rare moment of peace between the two species.
The rare moment was captured by Christopher Farao in Zambia. Where the two predators share an Impala meal without any drama. A special moment, as these two animals normally confront each other when their paths cross. Their normal hostile behaviour towards each other is owed to their competition for food resources and defending their respective territories in their shared habitat. Confrontations between these rivals often lead to casualties, making this moment all the more rare to witness!
Leopard vs Hyena Stats
The two apex predators are found in many overlapping territories across Africa and some areas of Asia, and here are some comparing stats to learn more about these animals.
|66 to 198 pounds
|90 to 190 pounds
|Between 2 and 2.3 feet in height and 3.5 and 6.2 feet in length
|Between 2 and 3 feet in height and 3 to 5 feet in length
|35 to 37 mph
|Social pack animals
Predatory Behaviour of Leopards
Leopards are solitary mammals who wander solo through their habitats. These unique hunters do not chase their prey down like you would expect, but instead wait until they are close to their prey. Once close enough, they pounce on their prey and deliver a fatal bite to their prey’s neck or head, bringing them down.
Predatory Behaviour of Hyenas
Hyenas move in packs through their habitat. These giggling animals are extremely fast and chase after their prey in packs, bringing them down as a team. Moreover, hyenas are known to steal other predators’ hunts – one of the factors that cause friction between them and leopards.
So, why share?
The mutual benefits of sharing a meal may outweigh the costs of engaging in a potentially fatal confrontation. This leads us to think that the leopard in the video may have decided to cooperate with the hyena to reduce the risk of injury or losing his kill, while still consuming a portion of the meal. Where the scavenging hyena benefits by gaining access to food without spending the energy required by a hunt. A show of a delicate balance of competition and cooperation between the two apex predators.
Final Say on the Shared Meal
The world of the animal kingdom is unpredictable and never ceases to surprise us. These two apex predators, who normally live life in competition, saw the mutual benefits of sharing a meal over a confrontation. It was a rare and wonderful moment to witness, and we are happy to share!
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