Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mara Magic

Hey friends and family of the Mara Hyena Project, my name is Jess and I’m the newest RA on the Serena side of the Mara. I graduated from the University of Florida in 2016 (Go Gators!) and then spent one year studying olive baboon behavior in Laikipia, Kenya and one year studying the reproductive ecology of the little known Kinda baboon in Kasanka National Park, Zambia. The big switch from primates to carnivores has been incredibly challenging and rewarding in more ways than one, most notably through a little phenomenon we call Mara Magic. Unlike Trail Magic, the unexpected acts of kindness you come across while hiking, Mara Magic is a gift bestowed upon you by the Mara itself. It can be something as simple as a playful pile of cubs at sunrise or as fantastic as an all night lion-hyena carcass session. Here are some of the incredible instances of Mara Magic I’ve experienced in my first few weeks here. 

Day 1: We stumble upon a jackal with the upper half of an adult impala

Day 7: I’m asked to fill a spot in a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Mara

Day 10: My first day transcribing, we stumble upon a Happy Zebra carcass session and I get a crash course in aggressive behaviors

 Day 13: A buffalo carcass turns into a late-night obs with the infamous Scar and his brothers

Day 20: On RA Emily’s last morning obs, we find a hyena mob 30 strong chasing off a lioness

All of this, not to mention the cubs and my coworkers who make my heart sing daily, make me feel remarkably lucky to be a part of this project. I hope to share these little pieces of Mara Magic with you throughout the year on this blog and on the project twitter (@MSUHyenas) which I've just started up. 


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love your blog ! Looking forward to more Mara Magic! Got a feeling your gonna make the world love the beautiful Hyenas !

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