We biologists aren’t here in the Mara to appreciate its beauty, however. We’re here to find hyenas. And when the view from the car most days looks a little something like this:
|Grass, grass and more grass.|
For most of my month in Serena Camp, we were unable to find the communal den of one of our three study clans, South Clan. Every observation session in South territory became a three-hour-long game of Where’s Waldo, only if Waldo was lower to the ground, the exact same color as the surrounding landscape, and very good at hiding in tall grass, rock fields, and clumps of bushes that our cars can’t drive through.
In times like these we rely on our radio tracking equipment. Several of our hyenas in each clan are fitted with some very fashionable collars, like so:
|Taj Mahal, sporting her lovely jewelry.|
|One of our cars with the aforementioned fancy antennas.|
But on one fortuitous occasion, we didn’t need tracking at all. In the distance we happened to spot several hyenas standing around a mound. Then we got very lucky: one of those hyenas happened to have a young cub who popped out of a hole in the ground as we approached and began to nurse.
|Clovis and the newest South Clan member, Wasabi!|
|You have no idea how happy we are to meet you, cubs!|