Incredible intelligence! The cunning hyena ate the elephant’s leg after storing it in a lake to avoid predators

Long considered the scavenger of Africa, the ruthlessly efficient hyena will eat almost any piece of food it can find.

And as these photographs show, its remarkable love of scavenging even extends to pieces of rotting flesh left decomposing in swamps.

This hyena, which was prowling for food in Chobe National Park, Botswana, was seen dragging the rotting legs of a long-dead baby elephant from the water.

Part of a wider pack, it’s believed the hyena placed the legs into the swamp overnight in a bid to keep them out of the sight and smell of other predators.

Wildlife photographer Hendri Venter, 55, managed to photograph the event while visiting the Savute Marsh during a trip to the region.

Throughout history, hyenas have usually been viewed with a contempt that belies their importance to the African ecological system and remarkable ability to feed themselves.

Their reputation as scavengers also ignores the fact they actually hunt 95 per cent of their prey themselves and a pack of the animals can devour every piece of a zebra – bones included – within just 30 minutes.


The hyena was photographed dragging the rotting legs of a baby elephant out of the swamp in Botswana’s Chobe National Park

These hyenas aren’t laughing when the lions get their way


A member of a pack of hyenas, it’s believed the animal placed the legs into the swamp overnight in a bid to keep it out of sight

The hyena tears at the dead elephant’s flesh after dragging it from the swamp in the early hours of the day

Having feasted on part of the flesh, it then carried the elephant’s legs with it across the savannah

The piece of flesh is instantly recognizable as part of an elephant due to the furry, thick skin and large bones