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Darting Hyenas

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:21pm
hyena 03_A Bennett.JPG hyena 04_A Bennett.JPG

Wow, what an exciting few days in the field! We have spent three nights in camp and so far we have been able to dart one Brown Hyena a night. This is very good odds and we hope our luck will continue. I will never forget these nights, such a highlight in life and career to be able to be so close to such a wild hyena. Amazing experience!

Daily life in camp is as follows; during the day we relax, cook a good lunch, explore the area and find amazing life in an inhospitable landscape - Springbok, Jackals, Tarantulas, Scorpions, Many-Horned Adders. Around 4pm, we head off to stake out the bait to attract the hyenas. By 6pm, our two darters are in position about 30m from the bait and there they sit until a hyena arrives to feed.

As we are on the coast, there is always a cold wind blowing and a thick fog rolls in - not the most pleasant of environments for sitting still and waiting! Dr Wiesel and I wait at camp until we get the call "we have darted a hyena"- last night it was 1am! The whole procedure takes about 1 hour to fit a GPS collar, take bloods, hair samples, take photos of leg markings, ear notches and teeth wear. Then before you know it, the animal is up and continuing on with its night feeding but now, with its new GPS collar, up to 3 years of movement data can be collected.

I should mention that while we are working on the hyena under anesthetic, we are surrounded by jackals who are very cheeky and try to nick off with our equipment! For every one hyena, there are about 12 jackals!

Well, I must head back into the field now, will update you all again soon, keep your fingers crossed for us!

Senior Carnivore Keeper, Monarto Zoo


Wow what an interesting ,great life you have Anna keep up thae good work Regards
Posted By: warren on Thursday, May 19, 2011 4:03pm

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