Lion Struggles to Fight Off 20 Hyenas Until His Bro Shows Up to Save Him

“You do not need many. Just one solid friend is enough.”

As if there weren’t already enough reasons for Lion King fans to dislike hyenas and that horrifying laughing sound they make.

Lion friendships are often very heartwarming and beautiful to watch. The fierce loyalty with which they defend each other, especially during their budding years. Lions know how to love and to hold, to defend and protect, and no matter the adversity they face together, lion friends never leave each other to battle alone. Humans, can we learn this?

A heartbreaking and yet inspiring video shared by BBC Earth shows a young male lion, Red, attempting to fend off a pack of over 20 wicked hyenas trying to tear him down. [1] Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the video was a part of the BBC wildlife series, Dynasties

Sir Arthur explains that as they mature, young male lions begin to explore the boundaries of their territory, satisfying their budding need for independence by seeking out what lies ahead. Unfortunately for the young Red, a handsome golden lion, he wandered too far from safe grounds and landed right in the middle of hyena territory. A gaggle of 20 hyenas cackling wickedly circled him – biting, poking, and hounding the lone lion. While their laughter is not exactly as creepy as The Lion King depicted, it’s still a pain to the ears. [2]

Red tried to avoid them but they wouldn’t let him. He decided to stay back and fight it out, but even for a strong, young lion, 20 hyenas was too much. He was tiring quickly as they tore at his skin, dragging flesh and leaving wide gaping cuts all over his tail and back. Still, he didn’t back down. As long as he could still draw breaths, the regal creature was going to fight to the end.

United we stand … to win

Red continued fighting but he couldn’t go on for much longer. His temper flared at one point and he tried to beat one of the hyenas down. This gave the others a chance to attack him from all over. He continued fending them off until his ally and friend, Tatu, saw the altercation.

Tatu saw them from them afar and stared in shock for a bit. Or maybe, he was just admiring the ferocity with which his brother was battling 20 hyenas all alone.

Either way, Tatu sprinted up to the scene of the fight and the odds squared out immediately. The cowardly hyenas disappeared! The narrator says at this point, “Even for TWENTY hyenas, a pair of male lions is too much to take on.” Tatu gave a few of the terrified hyenas a hot chase before returning to his brother.

It was a beautiful ending as they both lions hugged and fell over each other in a bromance for sore eyes. Red’s body was covered in bruises and gaping wounds, but he’s a strong guy. He would have healed completely in a matter of days.

So far, since 2018, the video has been watched over 53 million times on YouTube and shared hundreds of thousands of times across other social platforms. Humans have a couple of wonderful lessons to learn from the inspiring video:

Truly, there is strength in numbers

You don’t need so many friends. One good one willing to weather the storm with you is enough.


  1. Lion Struggles to Fight Off 20 Hyenas Until His Bro Shows Up to Save Him.” Thrillist. Eliza Dumais. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  2. In thrilling BBC video, one lion fights 20 hyenas — with a twist.” CNET. Gael Fashingbauer Cooper. Retrieved November 4, 2020.