It seems that one adult giraffe can be quite formidable to a hyena, or ten. However, I was amazed by our hyenas patience. They knew they couldn't take on the mother giraffe but they were quite content to simply sleep and wait for the mother giraffe to give up on her dead calf. It was touching the way the mother giraffe would lower her head to nudge and sniff at the calf. She was clearly upset about the hyenas presence; it seemed that they made her even more reluctant to leave the calf. Though sad, this calf would provide a free meal for all the hyena moms that were patiently waiting. Four of the ten hyenas there all have little cubs at the den and they need nourishment too.
We stayed with the giraffe and the hyenas for two hours before it started to get too hot and we left to go back to camp. The next evening there was no sign of the calf at all, since this is the lean time in the Maasai Mara for the hyenas this isn't too surprising.