(An injured and dejected wild dog, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)
INVESTEC PACK (IMBALI BREAKAWAYS)
WE witnessed a wild dog’s worst nightmare this week: an injury that prevented it from sticking with the pack. When we found the dog, it was alone, limping and looking rather miserable.
The next day WE came upon an interesting sight when checking in on the injured wild dog. Proving that the inner minds of animals are a mystery, the still injured dog was lying side by side, not with another member of his pack, buth with a hyena. These two species are not known for being close allies so this display of intimacy caught many off guard. The ambiance changed quite drastically when the hyena began to gnaw on the injured limb of the dog. A first, the dog seemed strangely apathetic to his own discomfort, but soon had enough and snapped back. The two had a short go at each other, their sizes differences becoming evident. Luckily, the smaller wild dog was able to fend off its somewhat haphazard attacker.
Sadly, upon returning to the site of the injured dog WE discovered that he had died. It was sad that the wild dog did not recover from his injuries, but comforting that it died of natural causes and not due to an opportunistic predator.
(The reigning Djuma male, Screenshot Credit: Karly, safariLIVE, Djuma)
This dominant male leopard has had a busy week. He had been continuously marking his territory in Djuma, even while recovering from an injury to his paw. It is highly important that this leopard stay on his game as it is his responsibility to keep Thandi’s little cub safe from danger in the form of any spotted male upstarts.
(The growing but playful Hosana, Screenshot Credit: Joy Guravich, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Hosana continues to develop a sociable personality so uncharacteristic of his species. The young leopard was caught hovering, yet again, in the periphery of his sister, Shadow’s, presence. This time Hosana was was seen lying under a tree with a duiker in its branches; Shadow was close nearby, but not acknowledging his presence.
The next day Hosana was found loitering around another, much larger species- elephants. Through the herd he meandered, seemingly unaware that as a leopard he’s supposed to be a bit more reclusive.
WE caught sight of Hosana while stalking an impala in thick bush. In spite of the high stakes, the atmosphere felt rather lighthearted as the failed attempt ended with the impala giving chase to the little prince. Hosana, ever energetic, then ran up and down a tree, acting as though he was in need of entertainment.
(A feline standoff, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
THE FIVE MUSKETEERS
The five Musketeers have had a week worthy of their literary name. There’s been the search for love, the appearance of a presumably old foe and and good ol’ fashioned standoff. On Monday morning we saw D’Artagnan, the collared male (and the only one of the five with a proper name), wandering the plains and making a noise meant to stimulate female ovulation. The cheetah was successfully wooed a nearby female with his animalian serenade and the two were seen laying under a tree, side by side.
The very next day the scene grew in intensity as a new cheetah character, Mugi, sauntered his way in, potentially drawn in by the high number of available females in the area. Mugi, Miale’s grown son, was forced into a solitary state by the death of his brother in February. It was clear, however, that we was not prepared to encounter the dominant and intimidating cheetah coalition. Four of the five Musketeers, including D’Artagnan, encircled the Mugi, taunting him in a standoff that lasted over a day. During this intense altercation when it wasn’t clear whether the four would kill the interloper or invite him to join the already impressive group, the fifth cheetah was engaging in a less violent, but no less testosterone filled activity- mating.
WE caught up to all five members of the coalition in a much more relaxed state. Mugi, however, has not been seen. It is assumed that he successfully escaped the standoff, living to see another day.
*Apologies for the absence of a map of the cat locations for the Maasai Mara this week.