Predators of Moremi: A Spectacular Sighting

8 November 2019

The Moremi Game Reserve is well known for its comprehensive protective measures in regards to the wildlife within its parameters. This has allowed for the co-existence of different species of predators such as wild dogs, lions, leopards, and hyenas to name a few.

On the 15th of May, the Desert & Delta Safaris guides team spotted a special sighting in the Xakanaxa area. Several different predators were seen taking turns to feed on a buffalo carcass, which was fatally killed after a suspected fight with its male counterpart.

The first to come on the scene were the scavengers, which are the hyenas. These predators are well known for their excellent sense of smell, which enables them to locate a kill with ease. They are, however usually timid to feed during day time, especially with the knowledge that a kill often attracts more dangerous carnivores. This is why they were the very first to feed and leave as soon as they were full.

On the trail of the hyenas came a solitude leopard which had been loitering around, patiently waiting for its turn. The leopard was somewhat shy and cautious in making his decisions. This is because they always try to avoid unnecessary fights over a kill which, if fierce enough, can sometimes severely injure them. So he quickly came in as an opportunist while no one was around the scene, ate his portion as much as he could. Then as soon as he picked the scent of a lion, he quickly sneaked out as he ran for cover.

Led by the vultures which were constantly circling the carcass location, the lion secretly and slyly went out around the scene investigating if there is anyone who is already protecting the food. With the realization that the carcass had no one guarding it, he quickly came in to feed. His territorial instincts kicked in as he became protective over the kill, even though he did this with limited confidence, as he was also unsure if anyone was watching him. Just like the rest of the other animals, he also ate and went off to lay low.