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Living Under the African Stars

Thursday, June 02, 2011 9:12am
hyaena_ A Bennett.jpg hyaena 2_A Bennett.jpg hyaena 3_A Bennett.jpg

Well, we have successfully completed the field work with The Brown Hyena Project in Namibia for 2011. Three weeks of camping, living under the African stars and searching for hyenas in the night!

We were able to dart and fit GPS collars on 4 animals over the 3 weeks. Two of these animals are from the Elizabeth Bay clan and two are from the Atlas Bay clan. This is great news because the data collected from the collars can be used to see how the two clans interact. The Elizabeth Bay clan live in an area where there is a new Diamond Mine, so this data will also help to see the effect the mining has on the hyenas habitat. Brown Hyenas are social animals, however they spend a lot of time alone foraging and moving around their habitat, so these collared animals can show how individuals interact around the communal dens and answer a lot of other questions!

One night I sat up with the vet to wait for the hyenas at a bait site. It was such a buzz to be there, see the hyena approach around midnight and be part of the capture and collar process. I have been given the privilege of naming this young female - Matilda, after Waltzing Matilda, an aussie twist in Africa!

So now all the cleaning and packing up is complete, I start to make the journey home with a new experience under my belt and knowledge which I can put to use with our Spotted Hyenas at Monarto Zoo.

What a great experience!

cheers,

Anna
Senior Keeper, Monarto Zoo

Comments

Anna, you are clearly a braver woman that most, certainly braver than me. What a great role model. Thanks.
Posted By: smr on Saturday, June 04, 2011 7:13am

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