Clean up crew by Dan MacKenzie

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White backed vulture (Gyps africanus) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) begin the work of cleaning up the carcass of a recently dead elephant. The white backed vulture is the most common vulture found in South African game reserves and tends to dominate simply by force of numbers, although size is also definitely a factor. The hyena have a highly developed sense of smell that very quickly helps them to zero in on a kill. Having said that, this elephant having been dead for 2 days, even I could have found it in the dark by following my nose!

Kruger National Park, South Africa


africa, safari, wildlife, wilderness, hyena, vulture, bird, scavenger, animal, mammal, elephant, kruger, park

Although Canadian by birth, I grew up in Africa and from an early age travel became a regular part of my life. As a result I developed an early passion for my two great loves, Africa and aviation. Being fortunate to return to Africa every year with our own safari company “Explorations Africa”, all of my photos of wildlife are taken in their natural and unstaged settings. Please visit us at

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  • carol brandt
    carol brandtabout 2 years ago

    hyena are a strange collection of parts, are they not? … looks like left-over spare bits and cast-offs went into putting this animal together and failed… and somehow I can’t imagine an elephant with the usual soft and delicious innards!

  • Well a sense of humour definitely went into putting those bits and pieces together, that’s for sure! I wouldn’t be able to get past the stench, let alone sort through soft and delicious =).

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...about 2 years ago

    26 April 2012 – 2 images per day

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...about 2 years ago

    26 April 2012 – 2 images per day

  • David Clarke
    David Clarkeabout 2 years ago

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