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Watch: Lions Confused by a Brown Hyena in the African Savannah

Brown hyena
Brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) with prey (baby bat-eared fox) in mouth - Kalahari desert (South Africa). Image by Johan Swanepoel via Depositphotos

Lions, used to being dominant over other animals, were completely confused when they crossed paths with a brown hyena in the African Savannah.

YouTube Video by Masaai Sightings

An enigmatic figure roams in the vast expanse of the African Savannah. The brown hyena is scientifically known as Hyaena brunnea. With their mane raised high and a creamy neck ruff fluffed out, they command attention, their existence echoing the resilience required to thrive amidst the savannah‘s golden hues.

Resourceful Scavengers and Opportunistic Feeders

Brown Hyena
Brown Hyena at Working with Wildlife, South Africa. Image by AfricanConservation, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brown hyenas display remarkable resourcefulness in their scavenging habits like humans adapting to diverse culinary delights. They’re not picky eaters; they’ll feast on anything from leftover carcasses to cracking open ostrich eggs. They’ll even enjoy the juicy sweetness of desert melons. 

Encounters of Astonishment

Brown hyena
Brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) with prey (baby bat-eared fox) in mouth – Kalahari desert (South Africa). Image by Johan Swanepoel via

Imagine a rare sighting where a lion pride, accustomed to their dominance, stands bewildered by the unexpected appearance of a brown hyena. Ignoring the lion’s gaze, the hyena casually strolls past it, quenching its thirst at the oasis shared by both species. The lions were puzzled, almost like they were saying, “What just happened?” It’s as if they’re experiencing the same sense of wonder and curiosity that humans face when they stumble upon something unfamiliar. Both scholars and admirers are attracted to them.

A Display of Dominance and Survival

brown hyena
Baby brown hyenas, Madikwe. Image by flowcomm, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With their mane raised high and neck ruff fluffed out, brown hyenas exude an aura of dominance akin to humans puffing out their chests in confrontations. The scars on their features tell stories of territorial fights, illustrating the resilience and perseverance required to thrive in challenging environments. Brown hyenas showcase a mastery of adaptation like humans building shelters to withstand the elements.

A Symbol of Nature’s Unpredictability

brown hyena
A brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) drinking water, Kalahari desert, South Africa. Image by EcoPic via

In the heart of the African plains, the brown hyena represents how nature can throw us curveballs, just like the surprises and uncertainties we encounter daily. Their presence serves as a poignant reminder of the difficulties of survival, where resilience and adaptability reign supreme—a silent dialogue with our perpetual quest to unravel the mysteries of existence.

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