Previous bloggers have expressed great admiration for certain male hyenas that hold special places in their hearts. And while I can see where they're coming from, I must confess that I cannot agree with them. In my experience I find that love/hate relationships never work out. It takes a strong woman to move on from an unhealthy relationship to one that is requited and, therefore, fulfilling and worthy of the investment of her time.
Which is why my heart has been stolen away by Rough and Ready. He is an amazing specimen of all the qualities I could ask for in a male hyena.
He has the most amazing spots you can imagine and was even dubbed "Awesome Spot in our data collection until we deemed him worthy of an official name (Immigrant males have to earn their name by sticking around for a few obs sessions and proving to us they have integrated into the clan by their behavior towards the other hyenas.). His spots are so amazing that is easy to identify, even when completely caked in mud.
Which brings me to another point. He is NOT afraid to get a little dirty. He's a real man's man of a hyena, not a wussy boy who's afraid to get a little mud on his paws.
He showed up in Prozac territory acting like he owned the place, amicably hanging out with the other males, following the alpha female around, and sacking out in the center of the action without a care in the world. Not only that, but he has covered a lot of ground to get to where he is today. Jeff and Dave have confirmed that he is the same hyena that they had previously seen on the other side of the Mara and named Acme. He seems to have been trying out different territories to find the perfect fit (or he was looking for me!).
In contrast to some other males I know, he LOVES the car. You can't get close enough to bother him without consciously trying. He'll go about his business like you are a part or it, or as if he's glad you're there to witness and share it.
Ours is a love/love relationship and I couldn't be happier.