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Lunchtime Chatter: Battle of the Hippos, the Crunching of Bones

June 27 - last full day at Sable Alley

I’ve posted long lists of the animals we’ve seen just to give you an idea of the richness of Botswana’s wildlife. But I recognize that they could get boring after a while, so I’ll just give you the highlights for this day.
During our morning game drive, we had the privilege of witnessing an extended battle between two male hippos, vying for the attentions of a nearby female. I got a photo of the action, which I’ll post when I have a better connection.
Later, we encountered the same trio of wild dogs we saw yesterday, but now with full bellies, and looking very contented.
Heading back to camp for brunch, we came upon a bull elephant in musth, standing on the road right in our path. Our guide stopped, backed up a bit, and then revved the engine a few times, which eventually persuaded the bull to relinquish his position. That was probably the scariest moment we’ve had in Botswana, but we didn’t feel all that threatened. In general, I have to say that I have felt far safer in the wilds of Botswana than I do on the streets of an American city.
During our afternoon game drive, we saw a sub-adult spotted hyena eating at the same hippo carcass we saw yesterday, surrounded by vultures. There was much less meat today. The sighting was accompanied by a pungent smell like overripe cheese, and the sound of bones crunching. We returned to the spot again later on in the drive, and this time our hyena friend had been joined by three others. All four ate together remarkably peaceably.
Our next highlight was much more charming: a pair of lesser striped swallows busily engaged in building their mud nest on the underside of a dead tree trunk lying horizontally next to a clearing.

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