Friday, January 14, 2005

As promised to Jonathan Last, a few anecdotes from my review of Predators at War that were omitted:

In one of the more disturbing moments of the documentary, a lioness follows a leopard up a tree where the leopard is trying to eat his kill (an antelope) alone. The lioness successfully pulls the carcass away while the leopard is left to sulk. But the lioness can't seem to figure how to get back down. One fatal slip later, the lioness is dangling from the tree, lifeless, her back broken. Another lioness climbs halfway up, pushes the hanging body to the ground, and proceeds to cannibalize it.

A clan of hyenas, regarded to have "steel-trap minds," is joined by a nomad hyena. The viewer can't tell the difference but the clan can by scent. They surround and harass him until he is a bloody mess. Amazingly, they let him go, apparently finding something else better to do.

Lions and hyenas are perceived as archenemies on the plain, probably because they compete most often for the same sources of food. In one instance, a lion comes upon a young hyena, abandoned and injured. The lion, having finished his own meal, decides nevertheless to kill the cub. But he doesn't eat it. Instead he leaves it there and marks it as his territory before leaving.

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