Heading out as the sun begins to rise is always a nice time to start your morning, there is however mornings, which you wish the alarm didn’t go off as quickly as it did.
We headed out the other morning, one of those overcast mornings, with a little bit of drizzle falling onto the earth. I had stopped and spoke a little about termite castes and the community, as well as their feeding behavior, as the rain drops fell down. After the talk, off we went again on our journey, we hadn’t got too far, when we heard the hysterical laughter of Spotted Hyena, that blood chilling, witch like shrill, which indicates that they are on a kill. Scanning around, at the base of a small hill, there they were, feeding on an unfortunate impala ram. Once the location was determined, we made our way towards them.
Getting within a close enough distance, as not to disturb their natural behavior, we sat tight and let everything unfold; as we heard their carnassial shear (back teeth) slice through the flesh, and crush the bone with audible sound. There were 10 of them, the alpha and large adult females, joined by the top ranking males feeding first with them. The lower ranking members, waiting their turn, approaching the alpha female and higher ranking clan members, in a submissive way.
Often head held down, turning around so they can be inspected, real appeasement behaviour. The odd chasing away from the kill, if the lower ranking individuals try to push their luck. We sat in amusement watching the hyena consume this impala ram, which they basically finished off ¾’s in an hour and 45 minutes.
We left the clan, and carried on with an already fantastic start to a morning drive, which was very relaxed and enjoyable.