WATCH: Antelope Flees Jackal While Eagle Swoops in From the Air

by Alex Falls
Paul Souders / Getty

The animal kingdom can be a fierce environment, especially in the southern parts of Africa. The harsh terrain and intense heat make it survival of the fittest for the local wildlife. Predators often prey upon unsuspecting animals for their next meal.

While some are supreme hunters, others are experts at staying hidden and avoiding being seen as a snack. The steenbok antelope is such a species. They have large eyes and satellite-like ears that keep them in tune with their surroundings and they can accelerate at a blistering pace. They predominantly inhabit the areas of Kenya and Tanzania.

A dramatic video captured a moment when one steenbok had its defenses put to the absolute test. Taken in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the lucky antelope avoided not just a pair of jackals looking to take it down through the undergrowth, but it also dodged an aerial onslaught from an opportunistic eagle.

Check out the video below shared by the Youtube channel Latest Sightings.

The footage was captured by park field guide Shaun Etsebeth. He was driving through the reserve when he stopped to observe a tawny eagle perched in a nearby tree. These large birds of prey are fairly common in Kruger Park. They mostly dine on carrion but periodically hunt for their meals.

“We stopped for a minute when the eagle suddenly dove and started chasing after a steenbok in the grass,” Etsebeth told Latest Sightings. “It was surprising enough to see the eagle hunt such large prey, and I was lucky to have been able to catch this on video – as the action was very short-lived.”

An Impressive Antelope’s Moves

The eagle’s eyes were a bit too big for its stomach. The antelope was able to dodge its attack. But before it was in the clear it had to avoid two predators better equipped to take it down. Two black-backed jackals ran in and joined the chase. But the agile antelope dodged its second attack of the day.

“Neither the jackals nor the eagle managed to catch the steenbok,” Etsebeth said. “The steenbok managed to outrun both predators and survived to live another day.”

Viewers catching the video pointed out how impressive the antelope’s moves were.

“Wow! That antelope was just magnificent,” wrote one user. “Being hunted by one predator is already enough, but it managed to outrun even two kinds of predators, on land and from the air.”

“One thing I like with Kruger sightings, is nothing is ‘spiced up, with bgm’…we can hear the chirping of cicadas, and bush birds as great dramas unfold,” another said of Kruger Park’s excellent wildlife sighting.

“Amazing sighting, and one VERY lucky steenbok! Reminds me of a scene in an episode of the Wild America series where a red fox AND a red-tailed hawk were both chasing after a rabbit, with the hawk eventually being the one to grab the cottontail,” wrote another.