Thursday, May 4, 2017

Serena Hyena Superlatives!

Cleanliest: MUON – Although she has fallen far since her glory days, opting to pursue a career in subterranean mining, MUON used to be the cleanliest cub on the block.  She’d spend more time grooming her own phallus than nursing form her mother!
Proud lil' MUON with her squeaky, clean phallus (©Julie Turner)
Best Mom: JAVA – The proud mother of eight graduated offspring (2 males and 6 females) and the proud grandmother of ten more.  The numbers don’t lie folks.
Best Cub/s: TOBA-KAPU – It’s pretty easy when you’re the matriarch’s daughters and can get whatever you want, whenever you want.  But TOBA and KAPU are the consummate cubs.  They never squitter or pester mom and they graduated in record time. 
Oldest: BBW – Big Bad Wolf may not even be able to see anymore she’s so old. But she’s one of the original hyenas from when the project started on the Serena side, which probably puts her close to 20 years old, but who’s to say? All I know is that wiser than Mother Willow and waddles around like a benevolent old grandmother.
Gnarliest: RH – Very beautiful, but gnarly all the same. Just look at those jowls!
Smelliest: CRUZ – CRUZ is the only hyena on the Serena side you can recognize instantaneously by smell, without any sort of visual aid.  If your car dies out somewhere in South territory and you’ve got no headlights, but you suddenly catch a whiff of what smells like death itself, it’s just the Cruz Missile coming to make your night worse than it already is.  Nobody knows where CRUZ gets his pungent aroma from – perhaps he sleeps inside the ribcage of a rotting hippo carcass? But one thing is for sure, somebody should give him an award for his dedication, and that someone is me…come on down, CRUZ.
Most Persistent Immigrant Male: CRUZ – Back to back awards for the Cruz Missile.  He once pursued JAVA (the matriarch of South clan) in an excess of two weeks straight while she had den dependent cubs and was clearly not coming into heat anytime soon.  What did Java do this week, you ask? 20% of her time was spent nursing TOBA and KAPU, the other 80% was aggressing onto CRUZ.
Most Awkward Immigrant Male: LPR – All Leprechaun does is circle the den and look like this all day!:
"Hey ladies, whatcha doing today? Don't I look really dreamy with my ear flopped down like this?" - LPR, everyday
Best Spots: CRIM- This will certainly be a point of boisterous contention until the world stops spinning.  This is just one humble man's opinion.
Fattest Hyena: TRU – My greatest regret of my time in the Mara is not having photographic evidence of this day.  Truly monstrous in girth, TRU looked like a bowling ball with four toothpicks sticking out.
Biggest Over Achiever: WAFL – Once the lowest- ranking members of North clan, WAFL rose to claim the Matriarchy during the Great Syrup Rebellion.
The Suck-Up: GOBE – Currently the lowest-ranking natal animal in North clan, you’ll almost always find GOBE hanging out with WAFL, the matriarch.
Most Gruesome Scars: WHIZ – Back in July, South clan got into a pretty horrendous lion-hyena interaction or clan war with some neighboring hyenas and a lot em’ came back with quite grisly battle scars.  None more ghastly than WHIZ – who had her entire back raked to the point where there were more lacerations than intact skin.  It’s been almost a year now and she’s still growing hair through the scar tissue.  Honorable Mention goes to SLNK who got her entire right ear ripped off from this same event.
Best Natal Den: BLG – Just look at the view! You can see where your breakfast is going to be every morning.
(©Julie Turner)
Most Beautiful Coat: ORB – Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? I’ll give you a hint and you won’t need to ask that darned mirror!
Most Likely to Become Matriarch: ARBA – She’s high-ranking, the daughter of the current matriarch, has a lot of children to coalition with, and she’s got a level-headed, responsible personality unlike the rest of the PIKE Royal Family. What’s not to like?
Most Likely to Take on an Elephant: HKR – If she took on a hippo one v. one, I gander it she’s not one to back down from a challenge.
Most Anti-Social: MTN – She hates all other hyenas, perhaps even more than she hates us! MTN would often make DAMA walk over 100m away from the den to nurse so she wouldn’t have to greet and socialize with other members of her clan.  Talk about a phobia.
Most Mischievous: OMLY – A very clever, devious girl she is.  Anytime you’re carrying out a novel object, saliva stick, or inhibition trial – assume OMLY is going to come tearing out of nowhere to ruin it.  We love her anyway though.
There's the little rascal! (©Olivia Spagnuolo)
Most Aggressive: CLAY – Hyper-aggressive wouldn’t even begin to describe it, you’d need to go all the way up to ludicrously-aggressive.  For the slightest infraction from lower-ranking hyenas, CLAY will respond with T3-level behaviors (our highest intensity aggression category).  The only hyena I haven’t seen her aggress onto is PIKE, the matriarch – so high ranking-hyenas aren’t even necessarily safe from her wraith.  She’s also a multiple offender in the infanticide department.  Fun stuff.
Best Couple: STAR-ONEK – This lovely pairing is by default as I haven’t seen any other hyenas mate yet! In any event, congrats you two!
Slowest: QUAK – QUAK is a very special hyena for us.  When he was still den-dependent he would often follow other moms 200m away from the den in hopes of nursing, only to realize that they weren’t actually his mother (RING).  QUAK once even tried to follow a zebra stallion away from the den only to be chased all the way back and nearly trampled in the process.  QUAK’s favorite hobby is gazing longingly at the escarpment.  When we sex a hyena cub in one of our clans, we give them three gender ticks on separate days to make sure we get it right.  With QUAK, we went through this process as well, but also gave him thought ticks to make sure he had a properly functioning brain.
Most Likely to Cheer You Up: QUAK – QUAK is especially adept at making you laugh.
Cutest: JEMI – There is nothing cuter than JEMI in pancake-mode, observe:
Most daring: DAMA – He considered, our cruiser, KAL the ultimate chew toy before he even got his spots.  Sadly, DAMA is no longer with us, but he lives on in our hearts as one of the most destructive hyenas to hit the Maasai Mara.
Life of the Party: GUMY – Parties are fun places where people get excited.  Well by that metric, GUMY surpasses all other hyenas.  It will be a perfectly quiet den session in North and all of a sudden GUMY will appear out of nowhere, lope approaching the den.  Then she’ll proceed to groan over and head bob for every nursing mother and their cubs.  Naturally, this gets all the blood flowing for everyone else present, who all start aggressing onto GUMY.  She can't just calmly wander over and greet everyone like a normal hyena.  Who knows? Maybe one day she’ll put it all together.
Most Inspirational: KOMO – In the aforementioned battle in South where SLNK and WHIZ got their scars, both of KOMO’s back legs were allegedly broken.  Did KOMO give up on life? No! Even without use of her two back legs, she found enough food to continue nursing her two den-dependent cubs, GATA and AXIO, for an additional nine months until their graduation.
If placed in Time Square, NYC I bet this photo would single-handedly increase the efficiency of America by at least 2-fold, don't worry if what I stated doesn't make any sense whatsoever...its fine. (©Erin Person)
Worst Mom: RING – There is a reason why QUAK turned out the way he did, as much as we love him, he could’ve used some more T.L.C. yet RING was never there for him.
Most Ferocious Coalition: CLOV-WHIZ-RNCH – When CLOV was still the matriarch of South there was one day where tore across Candy Bar Plains assaulting every hyena she met.  CLOV is one of the only matriarchs we've studied to repeatedly bloody her own clan – including the current matriarch of South (JAVA), some unsuspecting immigrant males, and even PB and JLY (her own kids).  Not many escaped the wraith of CLOV on this day.
Best Hunter: JAVA – She took on an adult male warthog herself, emerged the victor, and gave its severed head to her cubs to feast on. Enough said.
Strangest: BSTI-ABAT – One of my first days out here, I was in Olpunyata Swamp and I came across these two fishing around in a mud wallow.  They had found four turtles and I assumed they were going to eat them.  Instead, they decided to lay them on their backs and scent roll on them.  Turtle cologne? I hear it's all the rage these days.
Most Likely to Disappear for a Year and Come Back with a 5-month Old Cub: LCS – She’s a pro already, does it every year without fail!

1 comment:

Lily J-U said...

Wow KOMO looks like she's aged 10 years. Looks like an old lady now poor girl.

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science