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The Bird Hunting Hyena of lake Nakuru is actually the spotted Hyena (crocuta crocuta) of Africa, known to be a greedy scavenger who largely feeds on left-overs from kills of other predators, mostly depicted as cowards and poor hunters.
You must have heard of this common myth which says that ‘if you are taller than the hyena it will not attack you but if you are shorter it will attack you’, which many of us have believed without even seeing a Hyena itself.
The real truth is that, these strong jawed creatures have crudely proved in many occasions to be aggressive and intelligent hunters. The spotted hyenas of Lake Nakuru have proved this point beyond any shadow of doubt, they hunt flamingos.
A tour to Lake Nakuru will take one to the Commorant lakeshore for a stopover that presents a panoramic splendor of water fowls, the flamingos, pelicans, gulls and a host of other birds. One is most likely to spot the hyenas outside their den basking in the sun or wallowing in muddy pools with their young ones.
Adult hyenas hunt solitarily, mostly between dusk to dawn. When approaching flamingos the hyena lowers its head to a reasonable distance, dashes and grips the flamingo as they scamper for safety. It has become apparent that this new delicacy is increasingly being preferred by hyenas in Lake Nakuru. In most places, hyenas, like other carnivores adapt to feeding what is available to them in that particular reserve/park.
The state at which the lure for this strange action has been observed is just unique. In the past few years you would rarely spot hyena’s along the shores, especially the Cormorant shores, but today, you can easily find them in big numbers lying sluggishly on the beach as they await for any opportunity to pounce.
Seeing is believing or so they say….the Bird Hunting Hyenas of Lake Nakuru are phenomenal. A visit is inevitable for who knows how long this spectacle will last before the hyenas switch to a different delicacy that will send them deep into the forest and make them hard to see. So make time to enjoy your Kenyan safari…it will linger in your minds for a long time..