Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nobody respects a hyena

The other day my parents were visiting so I took them for a sundowner. On the way to the sundowner we stopped at Egyptian Goose, a man-made watering hole in Happy Zebra territory, to show them a pair of Grey crowned cranes and their chicks. 
Grey crowned crane chicks following their father to the safety of the island. 
We expected to see cute chicks, but what we didn’t expect to see was how vigorously the parents could defend these chicks. After leading the chicks to the safety of their island, the Mama crane flew off into the tall grass up the bank and spread their wings in a display.

An angry crane parent displaying at BRUM.
At first, we couldn’t see why she was displaying, but then we noticed a subadult hyena, BRUM, wandering around in the tall grass. Not content with a simple display, the crane started flying at BRUM, causing them to run pell mell for the water. In doing so, they tripped and fell down a bank in a hilarious manner. 
BRUM showing just how graceful a hyena can be. 
Unhurt but embarrassed, the hyena continued running from the angry mother, who wasn’t ready to give up. After zigging and zagging, BRUM finally dove to safety in the lugga by the road.

BRUM running top speed to avoid an angry crane parent. 
After securing the safety of her chicks, Mama crane returned to the island and was greeted by a concerned Baba crane, who had remained behind to protect his chicks. 

Baba crane congratulating Mama crane on a job well done. 
I knew that graduation was a dangerous time for a juvenile hyena, but I did not think birds would be one of those dangers!

1 comment:

Kay Holekamp said...

Great story, Emily!

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science