Pack of hungry hyenas are forced to flee after trying to steal a lion’s kill

This is the moment a pack of hungry hyenas went head-to-head with a pair of lions in a bid to steal their dinner.
Dramatic pictures taken in the Masai Mara in southern Kenya show the feared predators squaring up as they battle over a zebra the lions had killed.
After repeatedly chasing off the scavengers, the lions were eventually able to enjoy their meal in peace.
But the hyenas did not go hungry for long with images showing one using its powerful jaws to capture a young gazelle.

Pictures captured the moment a pack of hungry hyenas went head-to-head with a pair of lions in a bid to steal their dinner

The feared predators squaring up as they battle over a zebra the lions had killed

After picking up the scent of the zebra, the hyenas – known for being prolific scavengers – surrounded the lions hoping to use their considerable numbers to intimidate them away from the kill

German photographer Ingo Gerlach took the powerful images while on safari in the game reserve, witnessing the brutal side of nature.
While travelling through the park, the experienced photographer was alerted to the sound of roars and growls.
He said: ‘I could hear roaring from afar but I didn’t know the reason for the noise. After crossing a small hill with my off road-vehicle I found the source of all the noise.
‘I noticed a dead zebra with two lions standing by it surrounded by numerous howling and shrieking hyenas.’
After picking up the scent of the zebra, the hyenas – known for being prolific scavengers – surrounded the lions hoping to use their considerable numbers to intimidate them away from the kill.

Head-to-head: The pack of hyenas were no match for the two lions and eventually ran off after being spooked by the larger predators

With each failed attempt at taking the zebra only serving to make the lions more agitated, the hyena pack were forced to find food elsewhere

Unsuccessful: Despite their numerical advantage the hyenas struggled to steal the kill away from the pair of lions

But despite their numerical advantage the hyenas struggled to steal the kill away from the pair of lions.
Ingo said: ‘The lioness and a hyena were in front of my vehicle. The lioness’ facial expression was completely indifferent to the hyenas’ attack, however you could see the fear and horror on the face of the hyena.’
He added: ‘The lions were already noticeably full, nevertheless, they did not want to give up the zebra. They always chased off the hyenas.’
With each failed attempt at taking the zebra only serving to make the lions more agitated, the hyena pack were forced to find food elsewhere.

The hyenas did not go hungry for long with images showing one using its powerful jaws to capture a young gazelle

Within moments, the cruel side of nature showed itself as a new born calf was quickly snapped up by the hungry hyenas

The two hyenas captured a newly born Thomson’s gazelle that was hiding in the grass. With a powerful bite, the calf quickly became a small snack for the hyenas

The ‘small snack’ was in fact intended for the cubs of the hyenas who were in their den waiting for their mother to return

Within moments, the cruel side of nature showed itself as a new born calf was quickly snapped up by the hungry hyenas.
Ingo said: ‘The two hyenas captured a newly born Thomson’s gazelle that was in the high grass. With a powerful bite, the calf quickly became a small snack for the hyenas.’
Unbeknownst to Ingot however, the ‘small snack’ was in fact intended for the cubs of the hyenas who were in their den waiting for their mother to return.
Ingo added: ‘These pictures are not easy to look at but it should be remembered that the hyena has cubs to feed who also deserve a right to live. This is the cycle of nature.’

A hyena clamps its powerful jaws around the baby gazelle after finding it in the long grass near the lions’ kill

The hyenas had been running away from the lions when they stumbled across the tiny gazelle calf in the Masai Mara

While the kill showed the brutal reality of life in the Masai Mara, it was later revealed that the calf would feed the hyena’s young

The pictures were captured in the heart of the Masai Mara in southern Kenya by German photographer Ingo Gerlach

While travelling through the park, the experienced German photographer was alerted to the sound of roars and growls

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