Golfers had to stop play when two angry lionesses who brought their fresh kill at the Skukuza Golf Club in South Africa were ambushed by a pack of 20 hyenas.
Two hunting lionesses had brought an adult giraffe on the fairway of the golf course and were waiting for the rest of the pride to join them when a pack of 20 hungry hyenas smelled their fresh breakfast.
The hyena pack, though small, was able to shoo off the more powerful lionesses and claim the giraffe for a dawn feast.
The lionesses made several attempts to reclaim their hard-earned kill, however, they were no match for the numerous hyenas who were equally hungry.
The “world’s wildest golf course” built in the middle of the Kruger National Park has no fences to separate golfers from the Big 5 of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino, and other killer predators.
The golf course was initially built for staff in 1972 but then opened up to members who live locally and then tourists on safari.
Club Captain and green-keeper Jean Rossouw, 32, described Skukuza as the ‘World’s Wildest Course’. “In 2019 I came face to face with eight lions and had to chase them off!” he was quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“An important part of my job is the early morning tour of the course to make sure all our overnight “guests” are gone and that it is safe for our members and guests to tee off,” Rossouw said.
He continued, “We are in the wild out here as there are no fences to stop the Big 5 or any other animals coming through. No two days are the same and it is a wonderful place to play your golf.”
The club captain said, “What happened here was 4 young lions and lionesses came in and killed a giraffe at about 6.30 am but were driven off by 20 plus hyenas who started ripping into the giraffe eating it. Obviously, we had players who wanted to tee off so we had to get rangers from the South African National Park who own and run the Kruger National Park to come and deal with it.”
“By the time they arrived to lift the giraffe away the hyenas and vultures had devoured about a quarter of it and then took it to another part of the park so they could continue eating it. Within 12 hours there was nothing left but bones after the hyenas and vultures had finished with it and I guess the lions had to go and look for their breakfast somewhere else,” he added.
Rossouw said, “The golfers due to tee off had an early breakfast and some coffees and were delayed about an hour and a half while we moved the lions and hyenas and the giraffes out the way. It is what makes Skukuza so special not knowing what is going to happen every time you play.”
The South African National Parks who run the Kruger and the course said, “It’s not fenced in so uninvited spectators are a common sight with lions, leopard and hippo to name a few!”
Signing an indemnity form before tee-off is compulsory.