Saturday, November 9, 2019

Clan wars

Yesterday morning, I went on morning observation with Lila. She was coming back from Nairobi and wanted to come out with me to see our Talek hyenas before going back to her Serena camp. And we were very lucky to witness a clan war between 2 of our clans!

I have been here in the Mara for 10 months now, and I saw 3 clan wars.

The first one was between our Talek West 1 and our KCM clans (our Talek West clan is splitting, so let's call the 2 groups Talek West 1 and Talek West 2). This clan war was big, we had around 30 hyenas on each side. It was very impressive. I remember the hyenas being very loud and whooping a lot. Talek West 1 and KCM were mobbing and chasing at each other, there was a lot of action and it lasted for a good 10 minutes. It happened exactly at the border between the two territories.

RION is a male hyena that was born in Talek West and immigrated into KCM territory a few years ago. He was part of this event, and it was very funny to look at him. Both clans were on their own sides, standing and looking at each other. But RION was standing in the middle and looking to the left, where his mom and family were - and then to the right, where his actual clan was. He looked very confused.

The second clan war that I witnessed happened again between Talek West 1 and KCM, still at the border between the 2 territories, but at a very different location. This time, they were fighting over a carcass. The Talek West hyenas had killed a topi close to the border with KCM, and they got their carcass stolen by KCM hyenas. About 15-20 hyenas participated on both sides. There was also a lot of chasing and whooping going on. The KCM hyenas were successful this time.

About yesterday morning, Lila and I were sitting at one of the dens from Talek West 2, watching cute little black cubs. At some point, one of the moms alarm rumbled and all the hyenas started to run towards the South-West, so we decided to follow them. Most of them stopped on the way (especially the young ones) but some kept on running with the tail up to that direction. We followed them until they reached another group of hyenas, that were mainly from Pond territory. We arrived at the moment when NEON (a female from Talek West 2) stole a tommie carcass from the Pond hyenas.
There were 6 hyenas from both clans participating in the clan war. There were mobbing at each other for a few minutes almost without stopping. Talek West 2 chased Pond who ran away, then Pond chased Talek West 2 who ran away... etc for a few minutes.

When they were done, I went closer to the Pond hyenas and noticed that almost all of them had big bleeding bite marks on their necks, shoulders, and face. It looks like Talek West 2 won that war!

I wish I could have taken photos or videos of this to share here, but I guess I was too busy transcribing to take some. I hope to see at least one more clan war before I head back home in two months, it is always so exciting and entertaining to watch.

This is GREY, a male from Pond territory. He took part in that most recent clan war, and you can see all his bleeding bite marks on his neck, shoulder, and back.

1 comment:

AFriedman said...

Why is Talek West splitting?

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