WATCH: Secretary and Kori Bustard in bird brawl unlike anything you've seen in Kruger

2019-04-23 05:30
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Kruger offers up some spectacular, yet often expected sightings. A lion taking on an impala or a pack of wild dogs in a tussle with some Hyena - and yes sure a cheeky baby hippo can certainly push the boundaries by hustling a crocodile alongside its river namesake. 

But one you don't often expect is two fairly large birds, such as the Secretary Bird and a Kori Bustard - going at it in this manner.

Ashlea Dennison, a 25-year-old dentistry student at Wits University was on a self-drive safari in the Kruger National Park, in Mpumalanga with her boyfriend when she captured this incredible sighting.

The video above shows the altercation between the two birds, shared with Latest

Dennison says they were driving along the main road, coming into the park from Crocodile Bridge, one mid-morning in early April when they spotted a number of vultures and smaller birds around one particular area.

“We suspected kill or some sort of food source was close.”

Carrying along the same road they took “the second left turn, which leads to a dead end with a view of a waterhole” and this is when they spotted the birds not much further along.  .

“The Kori Bustard was not far off the road which caused the vultures to fly to the nearby trees. Then we started to drive further on, when we noticed the Secretary bird take flight from a tree close by.”

They then stopped to watched where it would land.

It just so happened to land where the Kori Bustard was and soon after the fighting began.

Dennison admits she had seen a Secretary bird and Kori Bustard alone on multiple occasions during previous visits to the park. But this interaction was super rare.

“ We were really excited about this sighting because these two birds are both amazing sightings alone - and we had never seen either of them behave in this manner.”

“I would've loved to see what the cause of the fight was but because of the length of the grass, we couldn’t see when was on the ground. We can only assume there was an abandoned kill because of the vulture presence.

“We had never seen anything like it before.”

After the Secretary bird chased the little birds away, both the Kori Bustard and the Secretary bird seemed to mind their own business while remaining in the same area.

 “I had never seen either of these birds act in an aggressive manner towards any other bird or animal for that matter. These two birds always appear to be minding their own business when we see them in the park.

 Dennison’s advice to anyone who is lucky enough to encounter anything similar is to “not interfere and to let nature play out as it would if we weren't there”.

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