Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ever seen a lion in a tree?

Last week Lily and I were out on obs in Main Doc territory looking for cognition trial candidates. However that search was quickly derailed when we turned the proverbial corner and found almost half of main doc facing off with 4 nearly full grown sub-adult male lions.
The hyena with the leg is Helios.

Although we came late to the party, I have a hypothesis for what precipitated this interaction. I think that the hyenas had made a kill next to the den, where upon these 4 young up-start lions thought that they could swagger up and swipe an easy meal from the hyenas. What the lions foolishly didn’t realize is that they walked into the literal “hyena’s” den, as almost the entire clan was using dens within a 1km radius of the faceoff. When the hyenas called for back up, a virtual horde of hyenas descended upon them. Main Doc’s beat down was so thorough that the lions kept climbing into trees in order to escape the relentless harassment. 

Unlike leopards, lions aren't nearly as graceful climbers.
He's reflecting on all his life decisions that led him to this point, and is regretting all of them.

In total, we counted 38 hyenas that were at least present during the battle, with possibly more that stayed in the lugga where the lions had been chased in. Often in the media, any lion-hyena interactions have the lions winning the fight and often killing some of the hyenas. So it was great to see the roles reversed and have the hyenas come out on top.

BUAR, the alpha of Main Doc, glows with satisfaction.


Dee said...

Buar does look pleased with herself. Thanks for the great post.

Kay Holekamp said...

Great post, Jack!

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