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forwarded by AAF Correspondent: Jim Clark

Lions, Hyenas Battle in Ethiopia

Tuesday, April 20, 1999

By The Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- Lions and hyenas have waged a fierce weeklong fight in Ethiopia's Gobele wilderness, and the bloody battle's cause remains a mystery, the Ethiopian News Agency reported Tuesday.

``If drought had been the cause, the beasts would have attacked neighboring villages rather than butcher each other,'' said Kemal Bedri of the Harrar State Agricultural Bureau.

The animals might have fought over some unknown vendetta, he said.

The lions succeeded in chasing away the hyenas after what policemen and local residents described as a ``ferocious battle,'' the agency reported.

At the end of the fighting, six lions and 35 hyenas lay dead in the semi-desert turf near the ancient walled city of Harrar, 220 miles east of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the agency reported.

The news agency did not say when the fighting took place.

Although hyenas are better known as scavengers, picking at the remains of animals already killed, they often attack animals and humans in packs when provoked.

An unidentified villager told the news agency the hyenas spent their days hiding in caves, and came out at night to joust with the lions.

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