Baboon Starts Chasing Hyena While Tourists Watch
When it comes to showdowns in the wild, attitude seems to trump over size more often than not. A perfect example is this short-but-sweet footage of a super-confident baboon throwing off a spotted hyena!
A group of tourists had been filming this lone spotted hyena padding down a road in South Africa's Kruger National Park, when something intriguing caught the carnivore’s attention in the bushes. The canid stepped cautiously onto the grassy shoulder and then went tearing away in the opposite direction, tail between its legs, with a bellowing chacma baboon close on its heels.
That’s right, it is a classic case of halting inquisitiveness met with immediate, full-bore, don't-mess-with-me 'tude. It should come as a surprise thought, as hyenas are a potential threat to these apes: one African review suggests that they were the third most significant predator of the "dog-headed" monkeys, just behind lions and leopards While a baboon may normally be too meagre a target for a whole clan, a solitary spotted hyena might opportunistically have a go at it. Baboon bones have also been recorded at the den sites of brown hyenas. A lone baboon may be a petty target for a whole clan of these laughing predators, but a lone beast like this one might have an opportunistic go at it.
Well, maybe not like this one, because this Kruger National Park native sure showed some pluck in facing this mutt! Sometimes attitude's often more important than size or strength when it comes to showdowns in the wild. A proof? The short-but-sweet footage out of South Africa's Kruger National Park.
But these rugged savanna-going monkeys aren't pushover prey, especially with strength of numbers. Males are intimidating animals, to say the least: as big as 50 kilograms (in the case of the chacma, the heftiest baboon species), armed with whopping fang-like canines and capable of spectacular bluster – electrifying barks and bristling, gaping charges – when facing a carnivore or large python. Adult males and sometimes females may physically confront a predator while the rest of the troop flees; leopards have been severely wounded, even killed, during these counterattacks.
But such mobbing is a daytime behaviour. After nightfall, baboons are understandably less inclined to square off against big cats or hyenas, and seek shelter from them on cliff faces or up in treetop roosts. There are cases when hyenas invade the after-hours canopy roosts of chacma baboons, sometimes multiple times a night.
And this isn't the only recent example of baboons throwing some swagger around with carnivores. In Zambia's South Luangwa National Park earlier this month, a pack of African wild dogs harassing a spotted hyena was filmed, only to get a taste of their own medicine shortly thereafter from a hilariously confident baboon.
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