Lion attacked by hyenas but saved by pal

This segment from Attenborough’s BBC Earth was put up November 26 and already has over two million views. A young male lion is attacked by over twenty hyenas, and has a tough go of it, but in the end is saved by the appearance of his pal Tatu.

Listen to those hyenas laugh! Nasty creatures, they are.

52 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    That is great stuff. Hard to watch.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      I had to skip to the end.

  2. Simon Hayward
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Those look like spotted hyenas – they have their own problems. I’m sure we’d all get grumpy if we shared their reproductive physiology!

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! But, hey, they’re so trans.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Should be a mascot for the trans lobby!

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 2, 2018 at 4:35 am | Permalink

          That might be unwise, considering what vicious thugs they are.

          (Yes I’m probably being anthropomorphic, but so what?)

          cr

  3. Frank Bath
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The BBC series is currently being broadcast under the title ‘Dynasties’. A different animal each time. The latest was a lion family.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “Gotcha back, bro.”

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      “Not a minute too soon, bro. “

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      The probability of them being brothers – or at least, half-brothers, is pretty high.
      Quoth Haldane : “I would not lay down my life for my brother, but I would to save two brothers or eight cousins.”

      Listen to those hyenas laugh! Nasty creatures, they are

      At about 2:20, in the distance an antelope can be seen, nastily not intervening to save the puddy-tat. Or the hyenas.

  5. Posted November 30, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Incredible clip. It’s clearly assembled and edited, partially, from material out of the narrative, but not the less for that. A beautiful story well told.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    • Caldwell
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Yes. I watched it with the sound off, so no misleading narration.

      In the all the scenes with hyenas, it’s overcast; in all scenes with the 2nd lion, there is direct sunlight.

      Something spooked the hyenas and the 1st lion briefly chased them, but there was no interaction between the hyenas and the 2nd lion, or at least none was shown.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 2, 2018 at 4:37 am | Permalink

        Considering the practical difficulties of being in the right place at the right time to film such an encounter, a bit of license in cutting the material together is surely admissible.

        cr

  6. Lee
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    If only Scar had a better relationship with the lionesses there at the end of Lion King, he might have survived. It’s hard to survive in this world without friends..

  7. grasshopper
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I vaguely remember a British TV comedy series about hyenas. I think it was called Carrion Laughing.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      ROFLMAO

  8. BJ
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    That was great! I felt so much anxiety as those hyenas closed in on Red. I love how Tartu didn’t come running in to save him, but just sort of strutted up to the pack all like, “yeah what’s up now bitches? What’s up?” And the lions’ little exchange of “thanks pal,” “no problem bro I got your back” at the end was just adorable.

    I really wanted Tartu to teach a few of those hyenas a lesson though.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like a new Disney animated feature.
      “The Lion Buddies”.

      • BJ
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        That would make me unreasonably happy.

        No tragedy though. Just a straight up lion buddy movie. We already have The Lion King. I just want two lion bros hanging out and going on adventures.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          … taking over a harem by killing the dominant male, then killing the infants (very Herodic, that – he said, getting into the Christmas mood) to stop the females lactating and trigger a return to oestrus.
          What’s that Tennyson line? “Nature red in tooth and claw.”

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Did you notice that the hyenas, the villains, in “The Lion King” all have ‘black’ accents? (Whoopie Goldberg?).
          I’m not going to analyse the “Lion King” here, but there is a lot to say about this propaganda for hereditary monarchy.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      BJ, why do you root for the lions? What have hyenas done to you? What is the reason?
      I saw some footage (in fact several clips) of lions killing unwary cheetahs, and one where a male lion killed a hyena. Never one where hyenas actually killed a lion, only chasing them off.

  9. revelator60
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    From what I’ve seen elsewhere, lions can be as nasty to hyenas as hyenas are nasty to lions.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I am speciesist – don’t like those ugly spotted things.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        What is ugly about a hyena? I think they are at least as good looking as lions.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        But aren’t young lion cubs commonly spotted?

    • BJ
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, but I like lions.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 2, 2018 at 4:40 am | Permalink

        I’m right with Eric and BJ there. Lions are magnificent. Hyenas, never. They don’t even have the better attributes of d*gs.

        cr

  10. ALE
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Why so much hyena hatred? Lions are pretty, but hyenas are so much more interesting. The two species are competitors, and each will take full advantage of an opportunity to kill the other. Given the size difference, lions usually have the upper hand. You don’t often find 20+ hyenas together unless they are defending a kill or are at their communal den. In this case, only 1 hyena looks bloody, and most appear to be lactating females, so I’d bet that they are defending their cubs from a potentially murderous lion. Their laughs are a submissive focalization – they know how risky this behavior is. They also whoop in this clip, trying to call in other clan members to help fight the lion.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I read somewhere (I really can’t remember where) that when troops of lions and hyenas fight, the group with the greatest combined weight will win. This video does not appear to support that, but then I gather it was somewhat faked.
      Hyenas weigh 50 to 60 kg (males) and up to 70 kg for females (also depending on the area).
      Lions weigh around 200 kg (up to 250), so four hyenas would beat one lion, and 8 would beat 2 of them, if the rule mentioned above is true. About 4 to 1.
      Lionesses weigh about 120 to 150 kg, so if only lionesses are involved a 3 to 1 advantage for the hyenas appears needed. (again, only if that rule is correct)
      And yes, why this hyena hatred? they are -contrary to the folk tales- better hunters than lions. It is more common that lions scavenge -or let us say what it is: steal- hyena kills than vice versa.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Note, I do not think hyena hatred is due to misogyny, the disparaging attitude towards hyenas predated our understanding of how hyena society is female dominated.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          I think the nickname of the blog^H^H^H^H website owner as “Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus)” might give a clue to the pro-cattishness.

          • Nicolaas Stempels
            Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            Hyenas may not be cats, like lions, but they are closely related. I think it is unfair to automatically root for the lions.
            Disclosure: I’m a bit of a spotted hyena fan, their social and sex lives are unique, I think.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

              Throwing the hyena fan to the Ceiling Cat Fans – this isn’t going to be a fair contest. It was nice knowing you, briefly.

              • Nicolaas Stempels
                Posted December 1, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

                I’d like some proteas on my grave.

        • ALE
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Most people change their tune about hyenas when they learn more about them. They really are fascinating – like predator monkeys with funky genitalia.

      • ALE
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        In my experience, it takes about 4 adult hyenas to fend off a single lioness. When male lions are involved in taking hyenas’ kills, the hyenas usually back off without a fight. They often wait around (“lurking”, as the tour guides say), because the lions are not nearly as efficient as the hyenas at utilizing a carcass and will abandon it while it is still a good food source for the hyenas (they can digest bone!). As the carcass is eaten, it’s value diminishes more rapidly for the (partially sated and inefficient) lions at a faster rate than it does for the hyenas, so the lions become less and less willing to risk an altercation over it. Usually they just leave or go to sleep, but sometimes they need some “encouragement” from the hyenas to give up the carcass.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          That comes close enough to that combined weight estimate, I’d think.
          I think your risk vs advantage balance is spot on.

  11. Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Hyenas are just trying to survive. Are they the spiders or snakes of the mammal world?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Nope, for one they are highly social and gregarious, something extremely rare in snakes or spiders.

  12. Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I once read (and believe) that lions typically end their days killed by hyenas, and that the animosity between the species is ancient and profound.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      I’m going to have to dredge the thesaurus (maybe even Roger’s Profanisaurus – very NSFW, also NSF keyboards if drinking coffee) to come up with a word for the feeling between wildebeest and lions.
      Lion cub to interchangeable mother/aunt : “Oh gno, gnot gnu again. A gnother gnu. Gnot the gnicest work of nature in the gstew.” With deep apologies to Flanders, and stealing Swann’s tune.

    • ALE
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Hyenas and lions are competitors and will kill each other given the chance; however, I strongly doubt that many lions are killed by hyenas. I spent several years researching hyenas (real research, not “research”), and in that time I never witnessed a hyena seriously injuring a lion, but I did witness lions killing hyenas (usually cubs) several times. That’s not to say that hyenas never kill lions, but I suspect that it’s pretty rare. Male-male competition in lions is very intense, and they may well sustain life-threatening injuries in battles over pride ownership.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      When lions age they probably are rather easy prey. All lions age, of coarse, so it is likely that scavengers like hyenas are going to inflict the coup de grâce.

      • ALE
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        When lions kill hyenas, and when hyenas kill other predators or come across their carcasses, they usually don’t eat them. It seems odd, but maybe they really do taste too gamey? Or maybe the perceived risk of being injured/killed by the other species is too great? Who knows!
        But BTW, lions scavenge from spotted hyena kills far more often than the reverse.

  13. Pray Hard
    Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Like watching lone German girls in Cologne when moslems attack except that no one comes to their rescue.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      The lion was a male, and the hyenas mainly female. The lion as an individual is way stronger than the a hyena, not so in the ‘Cologne’ disgrace.
      Moreover, the Cologne attacks were intra-species and of a sexual nature.
      But no one came to their rescue indeed, a shame.

  14. Posted December 3, 2018 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Hyenas are not nasty! They are beautiful & intelligent. Note how the lion sits so they do not tear at his testicles…

    • darrelle
      Posted December 3, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I noticed that too but thought it was to prevent being hamstrung. At least once a hyena did manage to nip his hamstring.


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