Monday, February 9, 2015

Pride comes before the fall

High-ranking hyenas LOVE to show off their kills.  Unlike their low-ranking comrades who must scarf down their food as quickly as possible before it gets stolen from them, these high-rankers can hold onto their scraps for hours.  And what do they do with this extra time, you might ask - eat more slowly?  No!  Instead they take their carcass in mouth and gleefully parade around the low-rankers, gloating over their companions' misfortune of having a lower status.  But sometimes, as they say, pride comes before the fall...even in the world of hyenas.

Yesterday, Eremet arrived at the Happy Zebra den holding a scrap of gazelle carcass in her mouth, nonchalantly flaunting her rank.  But things quickly went downhill from there...

Eremet innocently drops her scrap to sniff the cubs at the denhole. 
Round 1: Puff, her son, emerges from the den and grabs it... 
...and drags it into the denhole.
Eremet recovers her scrap, and the cubs stream out of the den after her (and the scrap).
Eremet: 1, cubs: 0.
Round 2: Puff grabs hold of the scrap again, now joined by his brother, Smaug. 
Success! They drag it back into the denhole...1 point for the boys? 
No! Eremet reaches into the den and yanks the scrap back out...still 0 points for the cubs.
Round 3: This time it's serious. Puff and his brother bring backup -
their cousins, Daddy Longlegs and Recluse.
Puff grabs hold of the scrap, and together the cubs drag it back into the denhole.
Seems like third time's the charm in this game...
Or not! Eremet, fed up, squeezes herself down into the denhole... 
...grabs the scrap...
...and drags it, with Puff still attached, to the top of the denhole.  Eremet: 3, cubs: 0 
Winner winner, carcass dinner?
Eremet saunters off with her scrap as the cubs watch sadly from the den.

1 comment:

Lily J-U said...

Great photos for telling the story! Adorable four little cousins cooperating... love Arba and Erem's new babies' names.

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science