This was my fist chance to see a close encounter between lions and hyenas. It happened at 9 Am while driving in the central Serengeti.
A clan of hyena were feasting on the significant remains of a wildebeest
The ripped away and engorged themselves
They kept a wary eye in the distance, and we soon found out why
As it turns out, a small pride of male lions had killed the wildebeest earlier and already feasted. They were lounging about 100 yards away after gorging on the wildebeest. They left their kill to the hyenas since they could not eat any more.
One of the males decided that he did not want the hyenas eating his meal so he returned, walking right down the middle of the road
He was a big boy, and could not move very fast due to his full belly
When he got close the hyenas scattered.
Hyenas have powerful jaws, and in sufficient numbers are not usually afraid of lions, especially lionesses. This is not the case when a large male lion approaches.
He grabbed his carcass and started walking it back to the other male lions
He stopped to rest frequently, with the hyenas watching from a safe distance
As the hyenas amassed in greater numbers they got their courage to start approaching the male
When there was 15 of them he decided it was not worth it and left the wildebeest to them
When it was obvious he was far enough away they returned to finish eating