Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Greetings to all and sundry, my name is Jack Grady, from St. Louis Missouri. I graduated in 2017 from Duke University with a Bachelor’s in Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology with a concentration in animal behavior. I first learned of the Hyena project when I studied on BEAM (Behavioral Ecology of African Mammals) back in 2015. I was impressed not only with the amazing wildlife, but also with the camps and the grad students.

My first two weeks in Kenya have been jam packed but incredible. I’ve been going through the classic struggles of camp life: waking up at 5:00 am everyday, checking the bed for spiders, trying to figure out how to drive manual transmission, memorizing the land marks, and most importantly learning how to recognize the 200+ hyenas. That last one has been the biggest struggle, but I’m finally starting to get the hang of it, I can recognize three of them by sight.

Some of the highlights with the hyenas have been naming Buenos Aires latest cub, Slug (her linage all have measurement names), and seeing 3 different mothers of the West Talek Clan bring their cubs to the central den of their territory. There are now seven adorable, uncoordinated cubs in that den now, and they are hilarious to watch. We also watched a hyena casually sniffing a buffalo, just for fun it seemed, and I also saw my first scrum at a kill.

Camp life has also been fantastic; I drove stick for the first time in my life and only stalled three times. Playing volleyball with the Maasai staff has been so much fun, and Joseph, our cook, has made fantastic meals every day. Even the showers are awesome. I know that the workload will start to ramp up once we begin doing transcriptions but for now it’s been extremely tranquil and idyllic. I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

This is Slug!

 First kill session

A hyena just cuddling with a buffalo.

Sunsets like these makes me love this job.

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