Whether you’re a jackal or a vulture, every day in the wild is a fight for survival. And just because you saw the food first doesn’t mean you’ll get to keep it. This photo sequence captured by Michael Hofmeyr in the Drakensberg shows that wildlife will go to great lengths for their next meal.

Birding enthusiast Michael Hofmeyr captured the confrontation between a Cape vulture and black-backed jackal at Giant’s Castle Nature Reserve in the Drakensberg.

Michael was watching the vulture pick on bones at the Giant’s Castle vulture restaurant when he noticed a jackal sneaking up from behind a ridge. The jackal hesitated once or twice before making a dash for the bone.

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The vulture had no intention of relinquishing its meal and a fight broke out. Initially it seemed as if the vulture would prevail. It went for the jackal’s eyes in an attempt to neutralise its attacker.

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But the jackal managed to spin around and after snapping at the vulture several times, the bird let go of the bone and flapped away.

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The jackal claimed its prize and trotted off with the bone in its mouth.

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About the photographer

Michael Hofmeyr is a keen birder and wildlife enthusiast based in Johannesburg. For these images he used a 420mm lens.

About Giant’s Castle vulture hide

The hide offers excellent opportunities to view raptors such as bearded vulture and Verreaux’s eagle. It is open year round, but advanced booking is essential.