KOI on a border patrol with PIKE/SNAP. RIP KOI 2 June 2011.
To understand the top of the hierarchy in her clan, here’s a snippet from the front of our Happy Zebra binder. Each binder has a “Clan List” that displays the linear hierarchy and members of the clan. To keep track of familial relationships, every cub that an individual female produces gets placed at one tab over, and then all of their cubs also get tabbed over as well. Therefore at the time of her death, Koi had 5 surviving cubs that we know of-- Coelecanth, Barracuda, Snapper, Pike, and Sawtooth (types of fish lineage). PIKE, SNAP, and SAW have all survived to reproduction and have produced their own cubs.
KOI - f
COEL (31Aug10) - f
BARR (31Aug10) - m
PIKE (30Oct07) - f
ADL (28Feb11) - ?
BOOM (16Feb10) - f
KATA (16Feb10) - m
SNAP (30Oct07) - f
GLET (13Oct10) - m
SAW - f
SGL (15Nov10) - f
HALA (15Nov10) - m
With Koi out of the picture, the throne should go to COEL. However, because she (and her brother BARR) were only 9 months old at the time of their mom’s death, we all expected they would perish given how dependent cubs at this age are of their mothers (cubs can nurse for up to 18 months!).
That’s why to my surprise, this morning we saw COEL and BARR looking pretty healthy at a topi carcass with both PIKE and SNAP. They’ve now survived over a month following their mom’s death, and seem to be doing just fine. Maybe they’re really good opportunists? Maybe PIKE and SNAP are still unsure of how to treat them and are allowing them to trail along on hunting expeditions and kills? Maybe PIKE and SNAP want more allies to help them in the future and see this as something that will directly benefit them later in life? Whatever the answer is, these two are still around.
PIKE from this morning eating a snack.
Although most of us hyena researchers out here feel that PIKE will most certainly jump over them to take the position of alpha, we are all interested in seeing if COEL and BARR can make it to adulthood. I think if they can make it through this first month and have latched onto their older and wiser sisters, things could be bright for their future.
We’ll keep you posted and check back soon!