Who’s laughing now: Leopard has last laugh after defeating hungry hyena in epic tug of war over zebra and carcass

This is the moment an epic tug of war between a hungry leopard and hyena broke out over a zebra carcass.

The young spotted cat had initially killed its prey but found it too heavy to take it back to his tree.

A small pack of crafty hyenas smelt the carcass and one decided to battle for some free food.

At first tentative, the craft Hyena tries to muscle in on the hungry leopards meal

At first tentative, the craft Hyena tries to muscle in on the hungry leopard’s meal

After a violent half hour tussle, the leopard is victorious and drags his kill away so he can finally feast.

The culinary tug-of-war was captured by photographers Laurent Renaud and Dominique Haution in the Masaï Mara Game Reserve, Kenya.

Photographer Laurent Renaud, who took the pictures, said: "It was exceptional to witness as these food fights are very rare."

Photographer Laurent Renaud, who took the pictures, said: “It was exceptional to witness as these food fights are very rare.”

Laurent, a 55-year-old teacher from France, said: “It was exceptional to witness as these food fights are very rare.

“The leopard had killed a young zebra but it was impossible to carry it up into his tree.

“Several hyenas were attracted to the smell and at first the leopard gave up and walked away.

“He then came back and wanted to carry the kill away but the hyenas weren’t going to give up without a fight.

“Finally after 30 minutes of vicious pulling and gnashing of teeth the leopard won and triumphantly strode away.”

Having conquered the hyena in a tug of war, the leopard drags away his kill to eat in peace

Having conquered the hyena in a tug of war, the leopard drags away his kill to eat in peace