This is the astonishing moment a python hunted and grabbed an impala calf, which was later taken by an opportunistic hyena.
The encounter was captured on video by Escape Safari Co. founder Mike Sutherland, 34, while on a private game drive at Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana. When the python spots the impala, it rushes for it before being seized by the hyena.
The impala lamb is seen squirming on the ground as the python captures it in the video. The hyena suddenly arrives, clamping its jaws on the head of the newborn impala while the python stays wrapped around it.
The hyena then takes the impala calf and carries both animals in its mouth.
The python slithers away, hoping to avoid the destiny of the impala calf. ‘We were on a morning game drive during the time of year when many species like warthogs, impala, and wildebeest had offspring,’ Mr Sutherland told LatestSightings.com. As we drove about, we observed a lot of young impala, some of which were days old and others who were just hours old. ‘The bush sprang to life!’
‘There was a vast herd of impala on the dry floodplain, and a hyena was wandering in the distance.’
‘A python had slithered down from a huge, fruited Bushwillow tree and hidden in the leaf litter.’ One unlucky young calf stepped straight over the snake, and it was grabbed in a flash.
‘We heard the calf bleating, a distress sound, and we turned quickly to see what had occurred; the hyena did the same.’ Everyone on the game drive, he added, was taken aback by what was going on.
The mother impala was watching the action develop, and he described it as a “unique sighting,” something he had not seen in his 12 years of guiding around Africa.
‘It is crucial not to tamper with nature, and although it may be difficult to watch, the events would have played out the same way whether we were there to witness them or not,’ Mr Sutherland added.