Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Modern Times at Fig Tree Clan

Hadley’s last post consisted of some great stories about our Fig Tree clan. So, I decided to give an update about this troublesome group of hyenas.

Fig Tree tends to give us researchers a headache. That's because it’s much farther away (about an hour drive from our camp), the hyenas like to go missing for months at a time, and their territory is the definition of “inconvenient” (it’s quite large and there are huge impassable luggas that cut through it.) Also, all the females look like this:

Tudor looking much like Carol Doda, Einstein, Lu, or any other of the adult females.
So, they’re hard to ID.

That being said, the clan’s territory is beautiful and we always see a variety of wildlife.

A martial eagle peering around for a potential breakfast snack.

The hyenas are interesting and quite the characters (see blog post on eggs.)

Chewbacca being a goofball.

And apparently, some things never change!

Hadley saw a lion/hyena interaction when they were looking for the lost clan, and so did we! In our case, the lions had stolen some recently killed ungulate from the hyenas.

As of right now, the females have chosen the most wonderful dens for observation. Whilst the Talek clan seems to prefer wooded bushy (as well as very-difficult-to-see-for-researchers) dens (see Ashlei’s post) the Fig tree clan has chosen a den that is open to the world. You can even snap shots of the sunset whilst watching young cubs play around the den hole. It’s a hyena researcher’s dream.


Naru is bombarded by the group of cub-lings that congregate at our new Theory of Evolution Den.

Einstein decides it's time to move Mike Wazowski to a new den. His sibling James P. Sullivan trails behind (not pictured.)

After having lost the clan for a couple of months (typical) we found their communal den hole complex (in December) and have thus come across eleven new hyena members. So many cubs!

A young Mike Wazowski/James P. Sullivan head pokes from behind his mom Einstein.

Einstein's two cubs along with Kibera and Mathare (Lu's cubs) play around on top of Einstein.

Einstein ignores...

Einstein continues to ignore, but I could not and snapped this photo just in the nick of time.

Now comes the hard part, gathering data on all the new comers. Although such tasks are not without their perks! (See adorable video below.)

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