Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Urban hyena activities

Time for another urban hyena update! This week the hyenas of Mekelle, Ethiopia test hunted a domestic donkey. One of the recurring themes that we've heard while traveling around Ethiopia is that hyenas are widely tolerated due to the fact that they don't attack people or livestock. Meat scraps and readily available all around the city and sick, weak, or injured livestock are often abandoned to the hyenas leaving them no reason to bother with humans and healthy livestock. This donkey appeared to be lost, he came trotting down the road and several hyenas immediately took interest and went running after him. We found them a little bit down the road but the scene was not the lively carcass session we expected. Instead the donkey was holding his ground and chased off the few hyenas that dared approach. The hyenas eventually fell asleep about 50 meters away or left to find something more interesting. It appears that healthy livestock really have nothing to fear. Eventually some people walking down the road took the donkey away.

The urban hyenas really don't seem to be wanting for food either. This is Badger, and yes, she always looks this fat. 

When we first arrived in Mekelle, the hyenas were really skittish of our vehicle. Recently, some subadults have started investigating us! 

Ibis, an adult female, looked up at the sky as a jet was passing over. I've never seen hyenas react to planes before! 

Lastly, here's a cute video a three subadults all startling and moving in unison. This was from a month ago when the hyenas were still getting used to the multi-access box. 

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