How do we get from wanting to (safely!) catch a #hyena to actually catching one? follow this thread...

#BlackMammalogists Week #TechniqueTuesday
First step is bureaucracy!
Gotta get ya permits (mine were from Kenya Wildlife Service & NACOSTI). Get approval from your institution's IACUC. The IACUC requires a detailed safety plan, so that's also a good self-check on what you're doing #TechniqueTuesday
Next: If you're collaring, gotta do your legwork on collar design. What do you need it for & what fix rates to use? Do u have cell towers in the area that can use GSM for data transmission? + Safe collar weight & a design that suits their crazy chewing ability. #TechniqueTuesday
Depending on your site, the hyenas might be quite skittish around people. I spent considerable time sitting w/hyena clans at kills and at their dens to habituate them to my car (& observe/record behaviors)

Happy is the name of my car. she's small but mighty.
(side note: I named her Happy because she kept breaking down in dangerous situations & it was pissing me off. with the new name she suddenly worked normally... 🤷🏾)
Once we have sorted out logistics w/ the vet team, we are ready to go. I use call-ins of hyena vocalizations (primarily "whoops", in most cases) to attract the hyenas.

Here's an example of what a whoop sounds like, from my friend Olivia @MaraHyenas
If you have a tiny car or are on a budget, you'll need a good set of affordable speakers for the call-in.

After much comparison, I settled on the UE Roll- portable, surprisingly loud & high quality sound, plus waterproof and hardy for the inevitable drops! #TechniqueTuesday
You have to go into collaring with a game plan. Which animal do you want to collar?

If not a specific individual, which approximate age & sex, backed by the purpose of your study? For my research I was looking to collar males, but couldn't in all cases.
We did our collaring at dawn or dusk. KWS vets prefer not to use Telazol (& prefer a drug that doesn't really knock 'em out right away), so we had to be careful not to dart near any bodies of water since our #hyenas are often near water. #TechniqueTuesday #BlackMammalogists
Catching a #hyena requires coordination akin to ballet dance/battle/football play (choose ur metaphor), **especially** if you've got skittish hyena clans!

Thru a WhatsApp group, I coordinated with the vet & other helpers, constantly communicating who should be where, & when
Upon darting the #hyena, everything is about being efficient, safe, quiet. I took relevant measurements & data while my team placed the collar. Since these drugs can wear off quickly, we prioritized placing the collar.

#BlackMammalogists #TechniqueTuesday
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