Whilst staying at Rekero Camp in the Masai Mara (Kenya), we spent a relaxing afternoon watching sixteen hyena pups from various dens within close proximity of us. This is unquestionably the most hyena pups that I’ve seen together in my career.
Everyone in the vehicle was completely enthralled with their antics, as the smallest pups darted in and out of the burrow to avoid the constant biting and bullying of the older pups.
A single adult female lay nearby, half-heartedly keeping an eye on the situation. There seemed to be pups everywhere, often approaching the vehicle very closely to investigate. This all seemed very endearing until it was time to drive away.
As I started rolling forward I realized that I had a flat tyre. When I indicated my disbelief to Risa, our Masai spotter (a local expert), he started laughing … and he told me that he had seen some of the young hyenas come up to the back of the vehicle and start chewing the tyres.
The sharp little teeth of these young animals and their incredibly powerful bite were undoubtedly the cause of our flat tyre!
Unfortunately, in order to get out of the vehicle and change the tyre, we had to send the mother scampering off and the hyena pups scurrying for their burrows.