Aftermath of a kill

We were on a game drive our second morning in Alamana.  Another car radioed us about a hyena stalking a mother and baby gazelle. We drove over.

From people in the first car, we later learned that the gazelles spotted a hyena stalking them, and the gazelles ran.  The baby gazelle stumbled, and the hyena caught it.

We pulled up as the hyena caught the the baby gazelle.  The baby gazelle is still holding its head up.  The time of the photo is 8:00:35 am.

hyena biting baby gazelle
hyena biting baby gazelle

The mother tries to distract the hyena by running around the hyena. 8:00:37

mother gazelle trying to distract the hyena
mother gazelle trying to distract the hyena

A minute later, a second hyena is on the scene, and the baby gazelle is dead.  8:01:33

mother gazelle moves on after the second hyena appears
mother gazelle moves on after the second hyena appears

The aftermath is shown in this slide show.  Warning: it’s predictable and not pretty.

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In the final photo, the hyena is done with his meal.  Note the red paws and mouth.  The time is 8:04:59.  Three and a half minutes from the initial photo biting the gazelle.

I ate the whole thing
I ate the whole thing

For those keeping track, the animals are a spotted hyena and two Thomson’s gazelles.  From wikipedia, “Although long reputed to be cowardly scavengers, hyenas, especially spotted hyenas, kill as much as 95% of the food they eat.”

8:05 am on our third day on safari.  What a way to start the day.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

5 thoughts on “Aftermath of a kill”

    1. You’re right. We felt as you do. From your photos, it’s clear there’s a special place in your heart for baby animals.

      That said, every day in Africa, every animal has to eat or starve, even hyenas. The emaciated lions in my Ngorongoro post aren’t easy to watch either.

      The Galapagos Islands have a strict park policy of no intervention by humans. While hiking there, a little baby seal came up to cuddle against the foot of one of our group members. Our guide said it had lost its mother, so it would die, and we could do nothing. It breaks your heart, and the emotion stays with you for a long time. That was in 2002, and I still remember.


  1. I’m actually a little glad I’ve never seen a kill on safari – pathetic to say it but I’m happier believing we all live in tranquility!

    I can watch animals eating something that was dead when I got there but the brutality of going from one state to the other would just make me sad – and I’m from the country where I used to have to put mixy rabbits out of their misery as a child, bit hypocritical I guess.


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