National Geographic Video: Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas [VHS]
Trek into the hidden battlefields of northern Botswana where lions and spotted hyenas clash in overlapping territories. With never-before-seen footage, much of it filmed at night, you'll uncover an intense and vicious blood feud that has been waged for millennia. Follow the Southern Clan, led by a powerful hyena matriarch whose firstborn female cub kills her sister at birth to assure her succession as leader of the clan. Lurk in the shadows as a lioness from the Central Pride gives birth to three cubs and then encounters a deadly Egyptian cobra. You'll be stunned by breathtaking chase scenes as the hyena matriarch is brutally killed by a male lion, throwing the clan into chaos. Discover nature's savage conflicts in this ancient rivalry between ETERNAL ENEMIES: LIONS AND HYENAS.
Although we romanticize lions as mighty kings of the jungle, their reign is in fact a tenuous one. It is challenged daily in southern Africa by vicious packs of hyenas that compete for prey. Between the two species exists an ancient feud, and it unfolds in Eternal Enemies with all the drama of the warring Capulets and Montagues. Watch as lions bring down a zebra, only to be attacked themselves by a pack of hyenas that chases them into the trees. Glowering, the big cats watch as the thieves devour their dinner. Days later the lions exact revenge, killing the hyena leader but leaving her uneaten as a warning to the rest of the clan. Other scenes in this video are equally impressive, including life inside a hyena den--which captures the sounds of lions growling outside--and a tense encounter between a snake-bitten lioness and a pack of hyenas. With its gripping story line, Eternal Enemies is a standout among animal documentaries. --Demian McLean
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The climax of this film is, to me, the epic chase scene where the lead male lion chases the hyena leader that had previously defied that lion's brother. Just when you start to wonder why the tiny hyena is trying to get ahead of the male lion chasing "after" her while she could just have stayed behind him and bailed, you see the reason why she was running so fast... A scene to hold your breath for, and absolutely worth buying the DVD - which I recently did for old time's sake.
Image and sound quality are good considering the age of the material.
Not suitable for kids. Any fluffly baby animals die cruel deaths.
On a humorous note, the feud between lions and hyenas as shown in this documentary, beautifully illustrates the Middle East conflict: the hyenas could lead a perfectly good life on the outskirts of lion turf but they just have to provoke, and thus get killed by, the much more powerful lions.
Made by the outstanding nature filmmakers, the husband and wife team of the Jouberts, who always seem able to catch film footage of live, wild animals which no one else can record, it again brings us as up close to live endangered animals as most of us will ever be. Any of their documentaries are worth watching.
The lion pride is fairly large, with two large males (typical for a big lion pride)who are closely related and who work together to help hunt, defend and maintain the territory so the females can do the majority of hunting as well as all the care and raising of the cubs. The male lions, whom I've often heard referred to in previous documentaries merely "lazy" and shown taking advantage of the lionesses hard work in hunting, actuall y do actively participate in about 1 in 10 hunts, especially of very large prey. They also defend the pride as needed, as we see in remarkable,exciting, chilling footage in this documentary.
There is also a closer-than-usual look at the hyaenas, who, if a person HAD to invent an unpleasant animal "villain" would fit the bill......yes, I know they are living on instinct as are the lions, but honestly, they are not the wild animals most of us would want to know better!
The story----as with most Joubert documentaries there IS a story----pertains to the ongoing, never ending, struggle between a specific hyaena clan, its' matriach, and the lion pride in the same territory. Each group tries to steal one another's kills, and also if possible will kill each other and the young cubs if able to do so.
The violence is graphic and probably not for very young kids or very sensitive adults either. Yet, one must be aware, the killing and struggle is part of the survival mechanism both groups must use to keep themselves and their young alive. Lions, despite or because of their iconic status and beauty are at very high risk for extinction.
The events shown----which I do not want to spoil----are at times very sad, very upsetting and yet give us that first hand look into the lives of these great predators who, like us, want to survive and raise their young. The cycle of life and death, normal in nature, and blunted for us by modern science and technology, is one that has been in existance for millenium.
A short documentary, but well made, moving, and one that will stay with you. Highly recommended.
I recently did an African Safari in Botswana, through Moremi and Chobe game reserves, and I was extremely lucky to witness the tracking of the lion and hyenas thanks to my amazing guide. We first saw several vultures which indicated there was a kill nearby. Followed them for some time until we discovered the Lion cubs. They were guarding one of their brothers feeding on Elephant carcass, wonderfully camouflaged in the dry vegetation, eyeballing us all along while we tried to track them. So you know what this means, specially if you have seen The Lion King; the hyenas should be close by! Lo and behold, about 20 minutes later we see a female hyena sneak up and wait for her turn for the carcass. She was alone, or atleast we thought she was since we couldn't see any other hyenas around. Imagine that, waiting for her turn, and there are atleast 5 lions around. We waited around for an hour or so to see what was going to happen, but it grew dark and you have return to the campsite when it gets dark. So...
My point being - the thrill I got witnessing this event, I relived that while watching this brilliant documentary. I highly highly recommend this to anyone who loves lions. I really wish this is released on Blue-Ray at some point...
The narrator Powers Boothe recently passed away.
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