Photographer George Schmahl visited the Vulture Hide at Giant’s Castle in the Drakensberg during September last year. He was rewarded with this spectacular photo sequence. 

“For the first few days we were able to see all the regular visitors which included bearded vulture, Cape vulture, jackal buzzard and a variety of chats and ravens. We also got a visit from a resident pair of black-backed jackal. They would appear from time to time and scan the area to assess whether it was safe to approach a carcass that was positioned close to the hide.” This was followed by approximately 30 vultures swooping down around the carcass. “In a matter of seconds a serious battle of life and death unfolded in front of us. The male jackal situated himself over the carcass while the female would chase the vultures away, leaping high into the air.”

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After about thirty minutes the male jackal decided to leave the scene. “The female continued… Fighting and eating she stood her ground, allowing the huge number of vultures to grab a bite from time to time.”

George used a Canon 1Ds Mrk III Canon 500mm F4 Canon 800mm F5.6.

Jackal vs vulture9-George Schmahl-Jun2011