Saturday, December 4, 2010

Waffles and cubs

Sorry for the delay everyone, but as promised, here's a quick photo essay on our winner for Hyena Mom of the Year 2010: Waffles! Most of the pictures are admittedly focused on the cubs rather than on Mama Waffs, but hey, can you blame me? Everyone knows hyena cubs are the cutest things in the Mara!

First up, here's Mama Waffs in all her glory. Excuse the deer-in-the-headlights expression, she's not used to being in the spotlight.

It was a big surprise when Waffless became a mom. It was her first litter ever, and we hadn't been seeing her around the den very frequently at all when, POOF! A cub appeared!

Surprise, surprise! A week or so later, we found that not only did Waffs have a cub... she had TWO. Thus was born the "syrup" lineage. Say hello to Log Cabin and Hungry Jack.

We saw them almost daily for 3 months. Here they are getting more adventurous, and starting to get their spots:

Then everyone, including Waffs and the babies, decided to switch dens. We lost them for around 2 or 3 months. I was getting worried that maybe the babies had died, since it was her first litter and cub mortality is higher the first time around. But Mama Waffs didn't disappoint. We eventually found the den, and our little guys had turned into monster balls of fluff! They're huge!

Nice going Mama Waffs. For our last shot, here's Hungry Jack, all grown up and eating a nice rack of ribs! Congratulations Waffles, those are some handsome looking babies you've got there.

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science