by Professional guide Doug Lawrence
A Hyena Den has been located on Somalisa Concession about 2km through some beautiful open combretum woodland. Our resident professional guide, Doug Lawrence, wrote the following account of the discovery:
‘The den itself was fascinating. We saw no hyena but could hear movement and growling coming up from underground. Steph, the local hyena researcher, has set a camera trap at the site to try and record the spot patterns of the mother and hence be able to identify her, and also to monitor the progress of the cubs. From what we understand of hyena behavior we suspect this to be a satellite birthing den established by a low ranking female, to try and give her young a better chance of survival than they would have being reared in the communal den in the presence of the more dominant females. However, as most hyena studies have historically been done in east Africa, Steph is finding more and more examples of the southern African animals behaving differently. Could this be another one? On our way back to camp we passed by the carcass of the big old elephant bull killed in a fight 10 days ago. The white-backed vultures that were in such abundance have moved off, having often been seen bathing in large numbers in one of our pans over the past few days, but the lappet-faced and hooded vultures are still there picking away at the carcass. Different feeding niches mean they are obviously still finding nutrients while the others have given up and gone in search of greener pastures.’
Additional sightings at Somalisa over the last two weeks include: two pride’s of lion – (one of 22 strong and the other 12 strong), porcupine, buffalo, kudu, eland, roan, waterbuck, female cheetah, bat eared foxes, side striped jackals.