Watch Hyena Walk on Two Legs After Being Paralyzed in Lion Attack

A hyena has been filmed walking on two legs after being paralyzed by a lion.

The footage was captured by Cathan Moore, a wildlife photographer, who spotted the hyena in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

"At first glance I was honestly stunned, and felt heartbroken for the hyena who looked in a dismal state," he told Newsweek. "It took me a couple seconds to comprehend what was happening in-front of me but I soon came to the realization that despite his handicap, was in perfect condition and that I should be feeling proud for this animal as he has seemed to overcome extreme adversity."

In the footage, a hyena can be seen walking down a trail through bush landscape. As it approaches the camera, it's rear legs trail behind it, suspended above the ground, as the animal walks forwards using its two front legs.

The video has since been viewed over 16 million times after it was reposted by the Latest Sightings—Kruger Facebook page.

Cathan's original post described lions as the "eternal enemy" of hyenas. These species frequently clash on the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. In his post, he said the lion had attacked the hyena around six months earlier.

A 2016 study published in the journal Current Zoology documented interactions between hyenas and lions using a 26-year data set. It showed that interactions between the two species were most common at the scene of fresh kills. Behavior cited in the paper showed that hyenas may form "mobs" when their numbers are big enough to be able to overpower lions, attacking them and stealing their food.

The study also said how dangerous these encounters can be for hyenas, with deaths from lions thought to represent a leading cause of mortality among adult hyenas.

A separate 2008 paper published in African Journal of Ecology studied hyena and lion interactions in the Etosha National Park in Namibia. It found that 71 per cent of hyena mortality in the study area was due to lion attacks.

Cathan said he had shot the footage on January 8 while out looking for a leopard in the Kruger National Park.

"It's no secret that Hyena and lions are arch enemies with conflict between the two species occurring on a daily basis and it's instinctual for predators to want to eliminate competition however lions do not strategically attack hyenas in this manner," he said.

"It's more of a situation where this lion lashed out at the hyena and left him in this state - leaving the hyena a lucky (or unlucky) survivor."

Stock image of hyena in East Africa
Stock image of hyena in East Africa. The hyena seen walking on two legs in Kruger National Park is thought to have been partially paralysed after an encounter with a lion. rkraan/Getty Images