7.7.09

Wildlife In Camp



Usually, after a cold night filming, we need to warm up with a fire before we can sleep, Whisky helps too. In the Kalahari, there was always the chance of a lion or leopard wandering in at this time of night, but that is quite unusual. In Moremi, we often have company, in the form of hyenas. Hyenas aren't present in the Kalahari, but they are ever present at campsites in Moremi. They will try and eat anything, milk cartons, plastic bottles, car exhausts. We could usually pick out a pair of eyes looking back at us while clanking and crunching sounds came from the kitchen area. Needless to say, anything remotely edible was locked away in a steel trunk, but hyenas have an incredible sense of smell and would always give it a go. (Years ago, while filming in Kenya, I was foolish enough to leave my smelly shoes outside the tent one night, in the morning the only evidence that they ever existed were some bits of chewed shoelace). In Moremi, hyenas are rarely seen anywhere apart from camp sites, giving the impression that they are only scavengers of human waste*. This may be true here – we didn’t see a single hyena out and about at night – but the likelihood is that the camp hyenas are mostly lone males.

Yesterday morning, we were also paid a visit by the bloody-faced male and the female he has been hanging out with. He just wandered past camp barely even registering the humans hiding in cars or tents, perhaps too deep in thought considering his situation - encouraging intruders into the range of his own pride - to notice mere cowering humans.

* Hyenas are still regarded as scavengers, despite research showing they are primarily predators.

4 comments:

Dafthermit said...

Hi,

I wandered here from my friend's Kate blog

and i am so glad i did

i will be back when i get a good signal here in the scottish mountains

i have really enjoyed reading your blog

andy the dafthermit

Madame DeFarge said...

Not sure that I'd like crunching sounds in the African night. I'd be forced to do a headcount in the morning just to make sure we were all still here.

xl said...

The illustration for this one makes me think we might be headed for a Fatal Attraction-esque situation!

ammonite said...

Dafthermit - we are vey pleased that you came too

Madame DeF - A full roll call is held during morning assembly in the field

xl - This story can only end in tears - will the crew be there to film it?