Updated: Feb 13, 2019
After shooting loads of images of Cheetah kill, African leopard and lions in initial segment of the tour, today we were waiting on a hillock for a pair of cheetah sisters who were comfortably catnapping to wake up and pose for us.. Our guide, Moses suspected their mood and temper and suggested, we should try for Serval cat instead of spending any more time on sleepy and lethargic sisters.
As he had time and again proven his familiarity with animal behaviour and in-depth knowledge about the jungle since the moment we set foot in the forest, we instantly decided to trust his gut one more time.
Locating Serval cats in a cover of thick tall grass can be a task. These cats become steady as rock the moment they notice any threat in the vicinity. They instantly camouflage themselves to hide amidst the tall grass.The only way to locate them is tracking the movement. Within a couple of minutes Dhananjay spotted the cat perfectly camouflaged in the grass. After shooting Serval cat for a long time, we moved towards Bat Eared Fox and had some beautiful shots.
We were patiently waiting for the sun to set which would give us some beautiful silhouettes of the wildebeest herd and suddenly our vigilant guide sensed some activity in the wildebeest herd some 600-700 meters away.
'Mann.. they got him' he yelled while watching through the binoculars..
We had no clue what Moses was watching. Quickly he turned our car and reached the spot. The only thing we were able to see was a huge dust cloud tinted in golden colour by the sun rays.
Suddenly, we saw a wildebeest jumping and we realized we are very lucky to see one more hunt today.!!
The dust finally settled in and we could clearly see the wildebeest fighting for his life against 2 merciless Hyenas.
Hyenas were attacking the wildebeest ruthlessly in repetition. They had a superb strategy. While one hyena was keeping the wildebeest engaged by attacking upfront, other one started attacking his abdomen.
The wildebeest wasn't strong enough to bare the most powerful bite amongst the Mammals and thus was badly hurt after the very first bite itself.
We could see the intestines dropping out of his injured stomach. With each bite, the wildebeest was losing his blood but not his courage.
Even in the most painful condition, he kept fighting for his life.
After exhausting all the energy, the wildebeest had, one of the hyenas finally sunk its teeth into the outstretched hind leg of the wildebeest. We could literally hear the sound of his bone cracking..
With this bite the Wildebeest finally collapsed. He was unable to stand on his legs but was still trying harder to get up on his front legs. At once, Hyenas got the complete control over the situation and started feeding on the Wildebeest alive as they were sure, he won't be able to fight back now.
It was very painful and disturbing to watch the helpless Wildebeest getting eaten alive.. After struggling for nearly 10-15 mins and fighting against the cruel predators, the Wildebeest breath his last. The moment he lost his life, the vultures joined Hyenas and started eating Wildebeest.
Initially we all were excited to see the kill but soon realized we are not yet strong to watch and digest the real struggle of an animal in the wild. Even though we got some outstanding images and a rare action, we left the site unhappy and sorrowful.