Tuesday, July 25, 2017

North males are invading South clan

Because we study 3 clans with shared borders at our Serena study site we occasionally see males from one of our study clans immigrating to another one of our study clans. Most immigrant males are given the name of a city since we don’t know anything about their parents or where they came from, but males that have been previously IDed retain the name they were given in their natal clan. We have Jazz and Jeep in our Happy Zebra clan who came from the Oz Valley clan. We have Trotsky and Wallflower in North clan who were born in South clan. And we have Katana in North Clan who was born in Happy Zebra. (I also once saw Sulawesi, a natal South Male, passing through Happy Zebra but he settled outside our study clans). However, in the last year we’ve had not just one, not two, but SIX North males seen in South clan with four confirmed as officially immigrated to South.

Excited immigrant males.
Texas Slim (SLIM) was the first North male to emigrate to South in December 2015. He was a little den-dependent cub when I first arrived to the Serena field site in May 2013 along with Strummer (STRM) and Lunch Lady (LADY). Strummer joined South clan shortly after in January 2016 and Lady finally followed in October 2016.

SLIM’s mom India Ink (INK) is still having babies in North. Right now, most likely unbeknownst to SLIM, INK has two new cubs Krazy Kat (KKAT) and Garfield (GARF). INK’s lineage is comic strips. SLIM’s older sister Get Fuzzy (FUZZ) has also started having babies of her own. Unfortunately, she lost her first cub, Belly Button (BUTN) which is not uncommon for a first litter.

SLIM as a fluffy cub.

SLIM as an adult male today.

INK nurses SLIM and DALT.
FUZZ, SLIM's older sister.

Strummer’s mom has unfortunately gone missing, which most likely means dead for an adult female hyena. However, his littermate Ramone (RMON) has given birth to her first litter, SyFy Channel (SYFY) and Discovery Channel (DISC). RMON and STRM were little trouble makers when they were cubs! They frequently came into camp and pulled the tarps above my tent down in the night, making a huge racket and waking me up!

STRM chewing on a car.
STRM, an adult male today.
RMON, now a beautiful young adult female.
DISC, one of RMON's first cubs.
RMON and CRIM at the North communal den.

LADY is one of Sherman’s (SHRM) kids, an adult female who recently passed away (see "Larger than Life: Sherman"). Her lineage was professions. LADY has two nieces still alive and well in North Clan, Billie Jean (BILJ) and Smooth Criminal (CRIM) (Michael Jackson songs). When LADY was a cub he chewed off my back-pack strap. (It took me hours to ID him by those scruffy side spots to figure out who did it!). Now he’s super easy to ID with great ear damage.

LADY chews on my backpack strap in 2013.
LADY, now an adult male with nice ear damage in South clan.
SHRM surveying her domain.
Since I’ve been out here in the field in 2017 we’ve also seen Rocket Scientist (RCKT), Kathleen Hanna (KATH) and Mrs. Butterworth’s (MRSB) in South territory. All three of these kiddos were born in North Clan and part of the early 2014 cohort of cubs.

RCKT happens to be LADY’s little brother! He’s been seen interacting with South hyenas three times now which means he's officially joined the clan for good. His littermate Astronaut hasn’t been seen in a while and most likely didn’t make it. LADY and RCKT are now SHRM’s only surviving kids.

SHRM nurses RCKT and ASTRO. 
RCKT was a scrawny little cub.
RCKT investigating the multi-access box in South Territory. He's got beautiful spots now! 

KATH is actually STRM’s younger brother! They’re both Arrow (ARRO) kids; her lineage was punk rock artists as you may have guessed. We haven’t seen KATH interacting with any South hyenas; we saw him hanging out with MRSB once and wandering around the “candy bar plains” another time. He was fairly skittish during both encounters which indicates to us that he’s still feeling nervous in South Territory.

ARRO watches as KATH and JETT explore outside the den.
KATH, now an adult male, exploring South Territory.

MRSB is the son of Waffles (WAFL), North’s matriarch. Her lineage is syrups (remember the “Syrup rebellion”?). WAFL seems to only have sons and it’s great to see some of them making it outside of their natal clan. MRSB has a little brother Hershey’s (HRSH) (still den-dependent) and Ferguson Farms (FERG) (a den-graduated subadult) and a niece, Soup Nazi (SOUP) (now an adult female, daughter of the deceased Log Cabin (LOGC)), living in North right now.

MRSB as a cute little black cub.
MRSB living the life of an immigrant male!
WAFL, the matriarch of North clan.
It’s been really cool to see all these hyenas that I knew as cubs grow up and join a new clan! Usually we have no idea what happens to a male hyena since we never see them again after they disperse so it’s quite the treat to get to follow these males throughout their lives.

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