Thursday, October 12, 2017

A day in the life - Graduating

Dear Diary,

Today was a good day. I woke up cuddling my brother King Ghidorah. We began the graduation process a couple of weeks ago, so we don’t sleep at the den anymore. We found a great bush to sleep under, dug a couple of shallow depressions, and fell asleep snuggled close together for warmth. This bush is way better than the leaky one we found our first night alone, when of course it rained. We both woke up hungry and went in search for mom (Eremet). We found her wallowing in a mud pit. King, who was hungrier than I was, threw a squitter tantrum until she came out and let us nurse. King is dominant, so he got to nurse in preferred position, again.

This is my brother King, even though he's dominant, he's still my best friend and I love him.

After nursing and a quick nap, King and I found our favorite play buddy Trebuchet. Treb is older than us and knows all the places the cool older subadults hang out. We followed him around for a bit and played my favorite game, tug-of-war, with an old wildebeest beard. I won, and Treb got grumpy. He said he didn’t have time for us babies and loped off.

This is our good friend Treb. His jaw was broken when he was a cub, so he looks a little funny.

After that, King wanted to see the new babies at the den. Ragnarok and Asgard are the only den-dependent cubs right now, so they get all the attention. I remember when King and I used to get fussed over like that. Now only mom groans at us. Ragnarok and Asgard are still learning their rank and don’t know that King and I are higher up than they are. Sometimes, they accidentally aggress onto us, and I have to put them in their place. King says it’s just part of the learning process, but I think it’s annoying! The babies are really cute though, and I can never stay grumpy for long.

Here is Ragnarok and Asgard, getting groomed by their mom Sawtooth. How could you stay angry at those tiny faces!

After visiting the cubs, we returned to our bush to write in our diaries. Mom says that tonight she will take us hunting, I can’t wait! My favorite is baby wildebeest, but the migration just ended, so we will be lucky to get a Thommy or Impala. Mom is an amazing hunter though, and I can’t wait to be as good as her one day. I bet I’ll be ever better than King, who’s such a momma’s boy he can’t do anything without her.

Anyway, it’s nap time and I’m getting sleepy. I’ll write all about tonight’s hunt tomorrow.

- Drogon 

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science