Hyaena eye to eye

Trip Start May 25, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, July 24, 2006

I find it strange that an animal that could kill a human with one quick movement is inherently scared us - you, me - the human race (as am I on ocassion!)

It was late - about 11pm when it we heard the leaves rustling by the corner of the house. We were sitting outside, enjoying the view across the valleys and the mountains under a clear star-lite sky. The advantage of winter and leaf litter is that you get a moments notice that something is on its way.

As the snuffling forward continued we realised whatever it was, it was big, but not big enough for the return of the rebellious elephants.

And then, before we could think, the hyena rounded the corner, smelling the braai meat on the air. We stared. It didn't seem to notice us on the stoop. It continued towards the braai, barely 3 metres away. And then the eyes caught the light and we were busted.
With two lollops it moved away and skirted the garden fence like a scared child holding on to an adults leg.

"Wow - that was close!"

'Cool - let's hope it comes back. Where's my camera'

My guests were excited but I couldn't forsee its return. The hyena had been busted and would be intelligent enough to stay away.

I am not worried by one hyena, knowing its pattern of fear. But where there is one, there is a whole pack close by and I wouldn't want to confront a few sets of eyes on any day.

Time for bed - another great day in Hluhluwe
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