LIONS, HYENAS AND A DEAD GIRAFFE: Shocking video shows life on world's WILDEST golf course
SKUKUZA, SOUTH AFRICA: Jungle Safari-like moment shocked the golfers on the world's wildest golf course as they were forced to stop play after two enraged lionesses and 20 hyenas eat a dead giraffe on the fairway. The game at the Skukuza Gold Club, located in the heart of the Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa, was halted until the "hazards" were removed.
At the nine-hole, 18-tee course, which is open to the wild animals without a fence, two hunting lionesses had killed a fully grown giraffe on the fairway for breakfast. The smell of the fresh kill attracted a group of 20 equally ravenous hyenas which surprisingly attacked them as they tucked in and waited for the rest of the pride to join them.
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The video that has been circulating shows the predatory hyena pack, which was much larger in number than the lions, was able to drive them away, take the spoils, and tuck into the injured giraffe for a dawn feast. The two enraged lionesses made several attempts to reclaim their well-earned kill, but they were no match for the larger pack of hungry hyenas.
In 1972, the crazy golf course in the middle of the Kruger National Park was first constructed for the staff. Later, it was made available to local residents and then travelers on safari. The fact that there are no fences separating golfers from the Big 5—the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhinoceros—as well as other deadly predators—brings its own set of perilous hazards.
On the Par 72, 5,831-meter course, members have frequently come into contact with lions, hippopotamuses, leopards, elephants, giraffes, wild dogs, pythons, cobras, and warthogs. Another common risk is groups of mischievous baboons stealing golf clubs, balls, and flags from players. A round of the course costs $16 for 9 holes and $23 for 18 holes and players must sign an indemnity card before they can start their round, effectively protecting the club in case they get eaten.
Describing Skukuza as the "World’s Wildest Course" Club Captain and green-keeper Jean Rossouw, 32 said, "In 2019 I came face to face with eight lions and had to chase them off!" He further stated, "An important part of my job is the early morning tour of the course to make sure all our overnight "guests" are gone and that it is safe for our members and guests to tee off. We are in the wild out here as there are no fences to stop the Big 5 or any other animals coming through. No two days are the same and it is a wonderful place to play your golf." He added, "What happened here was 4 young lions and lionesses came in and killed a giraffe at about 6.30 am but were driven off by 20 plus hyenas who started ripping into the giraffe and eating it."
He explained, "Obviously we had players who wanted to tee off so we had to get rangers from the South African National Park who owns and runs the Kruger National Park to come and deal with it." He continued, "By the time they arrived to lift the giraffe away the hyenas and vultures devoured about a quarter of it and then took it to another part of the park so they could continue eating it. Within 12 hours there was nothing left but bones after the hyenas and vultures had finished with it and I guess the lions had to go and look for their breakfast somewhere else." He concluded, "The golfers due to tea off had an early breakfast and some coffees and were delayed about an hour and a half while we moved the lions and hyenas and the giraffes out the way. It is what makes Skukuza so special not knowing what is going to happen every time you play." Mirror reported.
The South African National Parks who run the Kruger and the course stated, "It's not fenced in so uninvited spectators are a common sight with lions, leopard and hippo to name a few!"