Out of death comes life – observations at a waterhole - News - Gondwana Collection

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Out of death comes life – observations at a waterhole

Avatar of inke inke - 04. June 2019 - Environment

An eland bull (right) and an oryx inquisitively eyed the hyenas at the carcass. When they realized that the carnivores posed no danger, they proceeded to drink.

Dirk Heinrich

Less than ten minutes after nature conservation officials have pulled a dead giraffe bull from the man-made waterhole at Kalkheuwel in Etosha National Park the first black-backed jackal appears at the scene. This little predator cannot bite through the giraffe’s thick skin, so it goes for the tongue of the dead animal. More jackals turn up, soon they are joined by a spotted hyena that is attracted by the stench of the carcass. More and more hyenas emerge from between the green mopane trees. 

Four days later, hardly anything is left of the big giraffe bull. As a conspecific walks past, two spotted hyenas gnaw on the last remains of a front and a hind leg. The death of one animal has provided many other animals with food for several days – and presented tourists with a chance to observe a special scene which one doesn’t come across every day. The spotted hyenas helped other scavengers to feed on the carcass, because only they are able get through the thick skin of a giraffe bull.

For more details, please see the full story on Namibia Outdoor.

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