Hyena portraits… posed specially for us…

We came across this pack of celebrating hyena, a territorial battle had taken place next to a river and this group must have won,,, they seemed on top of the world… not the most beautiful animal, but it has its uses…


The hyena is known for its bone crushing jaw, no bone is left un-turned… (I’m getting so clever now)


It is often referred to as the laughing hyena as its chatter can be misconstrued as a laugh….


The Hyena is thought to be a scavenger, and yes it is, BUT… in a pack it is one of the most proficient hunts in the veld….


The young are known to fight in the den and often the weakest never make it to adulthood, but then nature is all about survival of the fittest and strongest…. Packs of hyenas have chased lions off their kill, even treeing the cats, but they are weary of doing that if a male lion is present… he doesn’t like it… there is a fantastic film often shown on National Geographics called “Eternal Enemies” its about lion and Hyena, watch it… absolutely brilliant…

Hyena .. strange animals actually…

The spotted hyena is one out of four in the biological group Hyaenidae. (Now I’m sounding smart!)

Although phylogenetically (evolutionary) closer to cats, hyenas are behaviourally and morphologically (structurally) similar to dogs in several ways; both hyenas and dogs are nonarboreal (don’t climb trees), cursorial (adapted for running) hunters that catch prey with their teeth rather than claws. (Shooo now the internet is making me seem very clever.)

But this I do know, in the spotted hyena, unlike the other hyenas, the female is bigger than the male… Amazonian she is… The rear hyena is a female…


Urogenital anatomy of the female spotted hyena.

In terms of their external genitalia, spotted hyenas are the most highly ‘masculinized’ extant female mammals. Female spotted hyenas display a fused scrotum, rather than the labia majora of a typical female mammal. The hypertrophied clitoris is similar in form to the male penis, and both female and male spotted hyenas display erections – often in the nonsexual context of ‘meeting ceremonies’ (from http://www.vet.cornell.edu/labs/place/docs/2006Glickmanetal.pdf just in case you want to read more)

WHAT????… it is saying that the female has a penis like protrusion so don’t go guessing the sex from that… I won’t go into the complicated description of sexual behaviour of the animals, but suffice it to say this female wears the pants and only one lucky male will get to cover her… talk about a woman on testosterone…


The only other time I’ve seen hyena performing like these were, was after a territorial battle… and as there were hyena running off away from this pack, I assume that was the case again…

This lot must have been victorious as such friendly play is a form of bonding and strengthening the family unit…




They ran around in all directions and one even wanted to chew on our plastic bumper of the van… but this was all victorious play and family bonding and there was even mock sexual acts… (two males..)


More hyena photos to come… just some portrait photos when they posed for me…

Impala portraits 3… rutting season…

There are three distinct social groups during the wet season: the female herds, the bachelor herds and the territorial males. The mating season is the three-week long period toward the end of the wet season in May. A single fawn is born after a gestational period of about six to seven months. The fawn remains with its mother for four to six months, after which it joins juvenile groups. These little ones start practicing for the main event from a young age….



While mothers look on, and fathers wonder “should we chase them now???”….




“Not sure this is a good time to get involved in the head butting…”


Impala portraits 2… Grandsons photos…

Impala are important prey animals for several apex carnivores, including lions, leopards, Cape hunting dogs, spotted hyenas,crocodiles and pythons. An alert and wary animal, the impala turns motionless on sensing danger. It will scan the vicinity with its eyes to spot the predator, and rotate its ears to catch any tell-tale sounds. It stares at and moves its head to get a better view of any object it can not identify.

Or it stands around without what appears a care in the world, as depicted in my Grandson’s photos… it might even be his wife’s photos… who cares I stole them….





“Hello… anyone home!!!!”





Impala portraits… rutting season…

The annual three-week long breeding season of the impala, also called the rut, begins toward the end of the wet season in May. The males begin preparations for mating in March, (good to get in a head start, think of the anticipation) including gonadal growth and hormone production, resulting in greater aggressiveness and territoriality. (Typical male high on testosterone.) Males undergo several physical changes as well, such as darkening of the coat due to greasy secretions from the sebaceous glands, (a little bit of hair gel) thickening of the neck and acquiring a musky odour, (deodorant, maybe not too appealing to us). The rut is also influenced by the lunar cycle, with most mating taking place between full moons. (Now that’s what you call the bewitching hour.) Here are a few portraits I took…


Remember the Moffatts Lyrics or Manfred Mann???

There she was just a-walkin’ down the street
singin’ do what daddy did to mommy to get me (do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do)

snappin’ her fingers and shufflin’ her feet
singin’ do what daddy did to mommy to get me (do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do)


She looked good, LOOKED GOOD
she looked fine, LOOKED FINE
she looked good, she looked fine
and I nearly lost my mind
Before I knew it she was walkin’ next to me



And last years ram still growing his horns…