Impala Baby Tries Escaping Python & Hyena

Impala Baby Tries Escaping Python & Hyena


Impala Baby Tries Escaping Python & Hyena

This is the incredible moment an impala lamb was hunted and caught by a python and then stolen by an opportunistic hyena. 

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While watching a cute impala lamb, the events that followed had these safari goers in shock.

This unexpected sighting was captured by 34-year-old founder of Escape Safari Co, Mike Sutherland, while on a private game drive in Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Mike tells the story: “We were on a morning game drive during the time of year when many animals like warthogs, impala and wildebeest have babies. As we drove around we saw loads of baby impala, some days old and others just hours. The bush was alive!”

“There was a large herd of impala on the edge of the dry floodplain and a hyena walking in the distance. A python had slithered down from a large, fruited Bushwillow tree and camouflaged itself in the leaf litter. One unlucky young lamb stepped right over the snake and, in a flash, it had been caught. We heard the lamb bleating, a call of distress and we turned swiftly in that direction to see what had happened, the hyena did the same.”
“The python had its jaws around the leg of the impala and immediately began to constrict the impala lamb. Coiling its strong body around the young animal as it squeezed the life out of it. This interaction caught the attention of the hyena which then came hurtling in to take advantage of the scene. Initially, it tried to grip the impala from the python but, with no luck, and then a game of cat and mouse started.”

“The hyena was patient, trying to bite at the python to force it to let go, but eventually it decided to pick up both the python and impala in its jaws and carried its bounty 10 or 15 meters before dropping them. Some more harassment led to the python succumbing to the pressure from the hyena and it eventually gave up, giving one last hiss and then slithered back to the safety of the trees. The hyena devoured the impala lamb in minutes as the mother impala looked on in agony.”


“We were all intrigued by what was happening, and we all felt quite distraught and in shock by the scenes that unfolded. It took some explaining and guiding to get the guests to understand fully the fact that nature can be cruel but also has strange ways that we can learn from it. Not everything we read in books is set in stone, and this was a great example of how one needs to be open-minded in the bush.”

“It is important to not interfere with nature and although it may be tough to watch, the events would have played out the same way whether we were there to witness it or not. This was an extremely rare sighting and the first time in 12 years of guiding across Africa that I had witnessed something like this!”

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