lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

Not really… I’m uploading pictures of the only lion we saw, some jackals and hyenas.  When I can get them all uploaded there will be an album with far more pictures.

These jackals are really quite small.  Even though I saw them last year, they continued to surprise me with their diminutive size.

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I have learned much in the past couple of years about hyenas.  They are much maligned creatures because of their bizarre appearance, spooky giggling call and apparent life style as scavengers.  They serve an important purpose in the chain of life.  Not only do they eat the left overs but they are able to grind up bone with those magnificent teeth and jaws of steel. 🙂  They are, however, also excellent predators and kill their own meals.  Sometimes, when you see video of hyenas hovering around a lion kill, it’s because the lions have stolen the prey from the hyenas!  They are good parents, affectionate and careful.  There is a communal den that the subordinate females bring their cubs to after they are a few weeks old.  Apparently, only the dominant female gives birth in this den.  They can live in huge clans.  I would have loved to see some cubs.

On my last night, I was sitting on the steps of my cabin enjoying my last African evening.  I heard some rustling and out of the dark came a hyena.  He passed not two meters from me on his way between cabins.  A few minutes later, he came back through the same way.  This time he saw me and stopped for a moment while we looked at each other.  Then he took off into the night.  I didn’t seem him again but I could hear him crunching some bones.  I wasn’t afraid, nor do I think I should have been.  I felt blessed to have such a close encounter with a hyena.

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This lion finally wandered onto the reserve the last day we were there.  Last year I saw lions nearly every time I went out.  Rex took us out to track them one evening.  He was able to locate one but the lion was off reserve property so we weren’t able to track him. 

This guy was apparently a rather cranky fellow although you would never guess that by his attitude this particular morning.

You can see his collar.  Unfortunately, the gps unit had fallen off.  We were lucky to find him.  Bashi was sure he was around because his footprints were fairly easy to see in the sand in the dried up river bed.  We had tried to find him the day before but his tracks appeared to turn up the river bank on the private property side.  Bashi’s intuition is startling.  He was pretty sure we’d find him and we did!

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Hopefully, I’ll get the album loaded quickly…

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One thought on “lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

  1. Your Black-backed Jackal photo\’s have been captured in beautiful light and your Hyaena shots are fantastic.It is always wonderful to see a male lion just a shame that these days so many animals need to be collared and tracked.Sandra

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