In a dramatic reversal of roles, a lion ferociously ripped apart a hyena, a vivid and raw display of nature’s ruthless hierarchy and the relentless survival struggle in the animal kingdom

These dramatic photos taken in South Africa show a lion capturing a 144lb hyena before ripping it apart.

Photographer Chad Cocking, 36, from Johannesburg, spotted the incredible scene in Tanda Tula Safari Camp in Greater Kruger Park.

The 418lb lion grabbed the hyena by the neck before dragging it around. Pictures show the hyena lying twisted on the floor as the lion bit down on its throat to suffocate it.

Chad said: ‘We arrived to find a male lion suffocating a hyena. After a couple of minutes, the lion left the hyena for dead. Unfortunately for the hyena, it was still clinging on to life – it was severely wounded though. That was when a second lion then approached and continued to suffocate it.

‘The rest of the hyena clan gathered at first to save their clan member but soon realised they were no match for the lions. The hyena was still breathing after the lions walked away but it just lay there with a broken back and no chance of recovery.

‘The lions were drawn in by the sound of the hyenas fighting the African wild dogs. By the time they noticed the lions had arrived, it was too late.’

Extraordinary photos taken at Tanda Tula Safari Camp in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa, show the moment a lion asserts its dominance over an unsuspecting hyena

The 418lb lion clamps its jaws around the 144lb hyena’s neck causing its prey to cry out. It drags the animal to the floor to complete the kill

The hyena’s blood pours out and coats the animals neck as well as the jaws, paws and mane of the lion who continues to crush its victim’s neck

Photographer Chad Cocking, 36, (right) from Johannesburg, spotted the incredible scene in Tanda Tula Safari Camp in Greater Kruger Park

The hyena is helpless as the lion continues to tighten its grip on the animal and roll it over to make finishing its prey off easier

Throughout the attack the hyena was left alive despite the lethal injuries inflicted upon it by the powerful jaws of the lion

Sia

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