Wherever I look there’s hyenas I get the feeling that they could suddenly pack and get together and grab you This might not be the cleverest thing I’ve ever done Here goes nothing I’M AUSTIN STEVENS I’VE SPENT 20 YEARS TACKLING SNAKES BUT I’VE NEVER FACED AN ANIMAL LIKE THIS I’LL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET MY PHOTOGRAPH I’ve got another hyena here Austin: Wherever you are in Africa, you have a notorious neighbour – the Hyena I’ve come to Ethiopia on the trail of a fantastic photograph Just look what I’ve stumbled into here Austin: I’ve never seen so many hyenas close to me These are spotted Hyenas and these are the second biggest predator in Africa, powerful animals, incredible animals….they just keep following me……give me a heart attack What worries me is that when these guys do get together in a pack – they’re fearless, they’re absolutely fearless These animals are known to chase lions off their kills, so what chance have I got? You get the feeling they could suddenly pack and get together and grab you! I don’t want that I don’t like them being behind me They’re known to attack animal, bring down large animals like buffalo Ah, look at this They tell you we’re in hyena country or what? They’re right here Look at this Doesn’t that make your blood chill? It is an animal known to take man – they’ve taken kids, they’ve taken babies, they’ve taken young adults and sick people I’m worried about staying too close I just want to take a few shots because the opportunity is unbelievable You feel like you can just touch them watch how he comes to me I might be pushing my luck a bit here, but if I keep dead still they come closer You get to a point that you can see it in their eyes – they look and they’re trying to decide now should I go and grab or should I go? As long as he doesn’t eat me, I’m not worried either Look he’s coming I actually touched him, I actually touched, it’s not a clever thing to do! GETTING THIS CLOSE TO HYENAS IS REMARKABLE AND THERE’S ONLY ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE IT CAN HAPPEN THE ANCIENT WALLED CITY OF HARER IS LOCATED WAY UP ON A HILLTOP IN THE ETHIOPEAN HIGHLANDS FOR CENTURIES THE PEOPLE HERE HAVE BEEN LIVING SIDE BY SIDE WITH HYENAS TODAY A FRAGILE TRUCE EXISTS BETWEEN THEM THE LOCALS BELIEVE THAT APPEASING THE HYENAS APPETITE IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THEM ATTACKING BOTH LIVESTOCK AND THE HARERI THEMSELVES BUTSE IS ONE OF A LONG LINE OF PEOPLE WHO FEED THESE DANGEROUS PREDATORS BY HAND Austin: Look at this, can you believe this?… they’re taking it right out of his hand

RELATIVE TO THEIR BODY SIZE HYENAS HAVE THE MOST POWERFUL JAWS OF ANY LAND CARNIVORE Austin: If those teeth close on your hands, your hand goes with that piece of meat! Can I do this, can I do one with my hand? I’m going to try and do it myself I must be careful Ahh! Bad news, oh do you see those teeth, you cannot believe it…one is gentle one is quick, that makes me nervous, he’s got a bad mouth And you get a fright when he comes to you and he grabs you and you just see those teeth That’s nerve racking stuff HYENAS CAN EXERT WELL OVER A THOUSAND POUNDS OF PRESSURE IN A SINGLE BITE BUT BUTSE KNOWS THESE HYENAS WELL AND IS PREPARED TO GET VERY, VERY CLOSE Austin: You won’t do that Oh my, can you believe this guy, this is incredible I’ve never seen anything like this in my life before Austin: Stunning Right here on the edge of the City, the Mosque going off over there, Hyenas being fed by hand with raw meat, vultures gathering all around here It’s the most unbelievable scene I’ve ever experienced Just goes to show, animals and people can co-exist, you’ve just got to feed them well! HARER IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE HYENAS ARE FED LIKE THIS BUT ACCORDING TO LOCAL LEGEND THE PRACTICE HAS A DARK HISTORY CENTURIES AGO A TERRIBLE FAMINE SWEPT THROUGH THE REGION HYENAS CAME INTO THE CITY TO SCAVENGE HUMAN CORPSES THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THEM WAS TO FEED THEM SCRAPS ONCE THEY GOT USED TO BEING FED, THE HYENAS NEVER LEFT BUT TODAY MERE SCRAPS AREN’T ENOUGH A SINGLE HYENA CAN EAT UP TO FIFTEEN KILOGRAMS OF MEAT IN ONE SITTING EVERY DAY AT SUNRISE THE LOCAL SLAUGHTER HOUSE DONATES ITS REJECTS Austin: They’re waiting, look at them all waiting That’s why there’s such a tremendous gathering of hyenas here HYENAS HAVE NO NATURAL PREDATORS THEY’RE TOP OF THEIR FOOD CHAIN AND CONSUME EVERY PART OF A CARCASS – EVEN BONES THE BONES Austin: It’s really incredible to see this from so close I hope he knows the difference between those bones and mine – that’s all HYENAS USUALLY HUNT FOR THEIR OWN FOOD, OFTEN EATING THEIR PREY WHILE IT IS STILL ALIVE BUT THEY ARE ALSO OPPORTUNISTS PREPARED TO FEED ON WHATEVER THEY FIND Austin: Of course, hyenas are known to be scavengers but this is quite unnatural of course because everything has been dumped here – and they’re waiting for it and they expect it and they get fed everyday It’s fantastic to see this but I know it’s not natural behaviour THESE HYENAS HAVE ADAPTED TO LIVING NEAR PEOPLE SO THEY’RE NOT TRULY WILD AND IT’S WILD HYENAS I WANT SO AS THEY GRAB THEIR LAST SCRAPS AND BEGIN TO SCATTER BACK INTO THE BUSH, I DECIDE TO LEAVE THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF THE CITY BEHIND AND FOLLOW THEM INTO THEIR TERRITORY THESE HYENAS ARE USED TO BEING AROUND PEOPLE IN THE CITY, BUT OUT HERE ON THEIR TURF THEY COULD BE AS TERRITORIAL AS ANY WILD ANIMAL I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY MIGHT REACT TO ME FOLLOWING THEM BUT I DO KNOW THAT OUT HERE HYENAS KILL DOZENS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR! Austin: They’ve scattered all over hills here I’m finding hyenas in every direction They’ve eaten themselves full, now going to find their places of sleep BUT THEY’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON ME HYENA PACKS ARE LED BY THE FEMALES – THEY’RE LARGER AND MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN MALES – AND THEY GUARD AGAINST INTRUDERS Austin: Watch how she just watches me

Notice how she moves away slightly, not too nervous of me, just hanging around one spot as if this is where she sleeps for the day, see how she’s settling down, actually lying down in my presence here A wild hyena in the field in the wild that’s never been in contact with humans, would never let you come this close, not a chance Austin: But she doesn’t mind me being right here This is just fantastic Look at her eyes, so sleepy, she just wants to put her head down but listening for sounds, keeping a check … This is what generally hyenas like to do, feed at night, sleep in the day It’s very interesting to get some pictures of Hyena in the daylight, good stuff….Like a big cuddly bear want to take her home with me …..Good stuff IT’S PRACTICALLY UNHEARD OF TO GET PICTURES OF HYENAS IN DAYLIGHT LIKE THIS BUT THESE ARE NOT THE PHOTOS I CAME FOR Austin: Of course these hyenas are semi-habituated and they’re accustomed to people, and they survive here by scavenging only I’VE BUILT MY REPUTATION ON GETTING CLOSE UP SHOTS OF DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS AND TO DO THAT I’LL NEED TO LEAVE HARER Austin: What I’d like to do and what I’m going to do is I’d like to go out into the wilds of Ethiopia where there are real wild hyenas, clanned hyenas living around a den area, and I want to get really close to these dens If possible I want to get within 20 foot of these dens in daylight and record their behaviour on film But to see this I’m going to have to go to one of the driest, harshest areas of Ethiopia I’M HEADING WEST FROM HARER INTO THE FAMOUS RIFT VALLEY THIS IS RUGGED TERRAIN – PARCHED SCRUBLAND WHERE TEMPERATURES REACH OVER FORTY DEGREES! THE ANIMALS THAT SURVIVE OUT HERE HAVE TO BE TOUGH Austin: These are Hamadryas Baboons , I’ve never seen so many together in one place There must be literally hundreds of them THERE SEEMS TO BE TROUBLE BREWING Austin: Watch them go, watch them go… Listen to the noise… Two or three clans come together start fighting …They are fighting, running, fighting, stopping, fighting, running, it’s incredible HERE IT’S THE MALES THAT ARE DOMINANT, AND THEY ARE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE, FIGHTING OVER BOTH FEMALES AND TERRITORY Austin: Here they go again, watch them go, always big dominant males fighting with each other What a gathering, what a gathering… BUT IT STOPS AS QUICKLY AS IT STARTED AND ALL OF A SUDDEN CALM IS RESTORED MY STRATEGY TO FIND WILD HYENAS IS TO TRACK DOWN THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEM BEST THE AFAR TRIBE SHARE THIS LANDSCAPE WITH THE HYENA AND THEIR LIFESTYLE MAKES THEM VULNERABLE TO ATTACK Austin: …They keep goats, they keep camels and they keep cattle They have a lot of interaction with hyenas, Hyenas actually take their livestock sometimes So I’m hoping that spending time with them, not only might I come across some hyenas but they might also be able to guide me to where there might be clans of hyenas BUT I’M NERVOUS I’VE HEARD THE AFAR ARE NOTORIOUSLY WARY OF OUTSIDERS

JUST AS I’M CONTEMPLATING MY FIRST MOVE , THERE’S A DISTURBANCE IN SOME NEARBY BUSHES Austin: It’s a Puff Adder…It’s a puff adder When I hear a commotion like that I know it’s a snake, let’s get him out there Cause he’s got himself all tangled up inside the bush here and he’s trying to get away He’s so perfectly calm, I’ve got him Got him, but he’s pulling against me, you must be very, very careful …This is potentially the most dangerous snake in Africa, The reason I say that because these snakes bite more people than any other snake in Africa…got him Austin: What a beaut, look how beautiful the markings are on that snake Look underneath at this gorgeous pattern, look how beautiful markings are, and on top beautiful chevrons, look at those chevrons over there Settle down old girl I saw that the tail is quite short and thick, it’s one of the snakes that is easy to identify if male or female, see how short the tail is? The vent is right there where my finger is, and the tail is only short like that, short little fat tail it means it’s a female You would find the male would have a long thin tail Not that anybody normally wants to sex a venomous snake but it’s something of interest… Isn’t it beautiful, that’s the problem with these snakes, they are so well camouflaged, when this snake disappears in to the grass he literally does that, disappears, you don’t see the snake Another thing they don’t move out the way, this is the biggest problem You’ve got a snake sitting in a pathway doesn’t move out of the way, almost invisible, people step on them And of course he has a lightening fast strike and very big fangs and a very, very powerful poison You take a drop of this venom, even a drop or two would be enough to kill an adult human being I’m going to go and release her a little bit further away Away from the cattle, away from the people What a well behaved snake, eh? I’m going to release her right here This will give you an idea of what I’m talking about watch how she disappears in to this grass Off you go girl Thank you for being so gentle, a nice snake Tickle your tail and send you on your way….Watch her disappearing…off she goes MOVING THE SNAKE AWAY FROM THE ENCAMPMENT APPEARS TO HAVE WON OVER THE AFAR CAUTIOUSLY THEY LEAD ME INTO THEIR SETTLEMENT IT SEEMS I’M HONOURED – THEY’VE INVITED ME TO TAKE PART IN A TRADITIONAL COFFEE -DRINKING CEREMONY Austin: Salam, salam… THESE ARE THE TRIBAL ELDERS AND I’M HOPING THEY’LL HAVE THE ANSWERS I’M LOOKING FOR… THEY HAVE TO KEEP A CONSTANT LOOK-OUT FOR HYENAS TO PROTECT THEIR LIVESTOCK SO IF ANYONE CAN TELL ME WHERE TO FIND THEM, IT’S THESE GUYS Austin: Umm sweet, sweet for sugar… BUT THIS IS TRICKY – I DON’T SPEAK AFAR WE’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO COMMUNICATE AS BEST WE CAN… Austin: So I need to know about Hyenas, AFAR: MMMM, mmm (mimics hyena) Austin: I want to know if your cows – Moo Moo, if the Hyenas eat them? Does a hyena eat them? Yah that’s what I thought THEY LEAVE ME IN NO DOUBT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF A HYENA APPROACHED THEIR CAMP Austin: So if you see a hyena and it goes for your cow….your cattle, then you’re going to shoot him BUT I WANT TO KNOW HOW DANGEROUS WILD HYENAS ARE WHEN THEY’RE NOT AFTER CATTLE Austin: If I want to go in with hyenas, me – I can do it? Or it’s dangerous? They kill me Go underneath I’d be dead MY HOSTS SEEM TO THINK I’M MAD FOR EVEN GOING NEAR A DEN BUT THEY DO KNOW WHERE WILD HYENAS LIVE AND HAVE AGREED TO POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Austin: AS: So I must go out this way – Fantalle – right by the volcanoes Thank-you FANTALLE IS THE NAME OF THE DORMANT VOLCANO I CAN SEE ON THE HORIZON

AND AS BEST I CAN TELL, THAT’S WHERE THEY’RE SUGGESTING I GO NEXT Austin: I will find them I will find them Yeah MY JOURNEY TAKES ME ALONG THE AWASH RIVER, ONE OF THE LARGEST IN ETHIOPIA Austin: Look at this, can you believe this, isn’t it incredible? In this harsh dry land, I mean everything around here is dry there’s a stream of water coming through It’s obvious there’s been a lot of rain inland, in the higher ground and it’s all flowing through here and it’s cascading over in to this waterfall This Awash river running through the centre of this dry land It actually attracts all the game And where there’s game there’s predators and that’s what I’m looking for ONE VERY CRAFTY ANIMAL IS DRAWN TO THIS LUSH AREA SO WHILE I’M HERE THERE’S SOMETHING I WANT YOU TO SEE THESE ARE OLIVE BABOONS Austin: They’ve got a very organised social structure, very much like the Hyenas The only difference is the males are dominant here They’re the guys you’ve got to watch out for They’re powerful and they’ve got big teeth like that and these guys you’ve got to watch out for, these are guys you don’t fool with I’ve got a little surprise for them here They’re pretty organized these guys, you’re going to see this, I’m going to put down my bread, a little piece of bread and they’re going to try and distract me on the one side while others try to sneak up and swipe the bread I’ve seen this happen a number of times and I suspect it might happen here as well So they’re all pretending not to pay any attention to me and they’re all grooming and fooling around and having a nice morning relax and I’m just going to put this bread down right here Very quiet, everybody busy and I’ll just go about business of taking photographs These two over here are just grooming away They’re all gathering around and there’s a lot of them Going to be the big one that does it… NOW WATCH AS THE STRAIGHT FORWARD APPROACH HASN’T WORKED THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TRY SOMETHING A BIT SNEAKIER Austin: They are going to make a distraction…There’s a fight Watch those guys go, fantastic did you seem them fight Hey where’s my bread? Oh man I’m watching the guys fighting over there was that on purpose, did they plan that Did he come and grab that from behind me knowing that I was being distracted over there? It’s hard to tell but look at this face He knows he’s got me… Well that’s one way to get your close-up photograph These are scary guys… JUST GOES TO SHOW – YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE WILD ANIMALS FOR GRANTED I’D DO WELL TO REMEMBER THAT FINALLY I ARRIVE NEAR THE BASE OF THE VOLCANO WHERE THE AFAR SAID I’D FIND THE HYENAS FROM HERE ON IN, MY SEARCH NEEDS TO CONTINUE ON FOOT AND THAT MEANS LEAVING THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF MY TRUCK I START BY SCOURING THE AREA FOR SIGNS OF HYENA ACTIVITY Austin: I’m seeing some slight imprints and definitely

a trail…yes, that’s what I’m looking for, perfect Hyena prints…Ground is hard here and I’m battling to see the prints clearly but here’s a perfect print, here’s more, obviously they’ve been smudged I would reckon that Hyenas are definitely using this trail This is what the Afar said, come to this side of the volcano sun behind me, looking straight out that we’re going towards the volcano yeah. it’s what I’m looking for I’ve definitely got Hyena prints so I’m definitely doing well … AS I HEAD TOWARDS THE VOLCANO, THERE’S MORE EVIDENCE THAT I’VE ENTERED HYENA TERRITORY Austin: There we go, Hyena faeces, not that old either You can always tell a Hyenas faeces See how pale it is Hyenas have the power and the jaws to crush bone and digest bone as well So you can always tell in their faeces, a lot of calcium in there I’m definitely on the right trail THIS SEEMS LIKE THE PLACE I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR BUT NOW THAT I’M HERE THE CHALLENGES OF WHAT I’M TRYING TO ACHIEVE ARE REALLY STARTING TO HIT HOME BECAUSE THIS ANIMAL IS WAY OUTSIDE MY AREA OF EXPERTISE Austin: Catching snakes doesn’t worry me, even highly venomous snakes, they’re predictable, I know how to work with them The Hyena might be something completely different You can’t catch a Hyena and hold him in my hands Unpredictable animal, I have no idea what to expect BUT WITH THE LIGHT FADING FAST I’LL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW TO TRY AND FIND A DEN SITE CONDITIONS THE NEXT MORNING ARE TYPICAL FOR THIS PART OF THE RIFT VALLEY Austin: Wow, It’s really hot today, exceptionally hot, and there’s a wind blowing across the plains, which is dry, and makes everything feel brittle The Hyenas have got the right idea they’re tucked in their dens way under ground where it’s really cool They’ll stay there the whole day and will come out this evening… WHILE MOST CREATURES ARE SHELTERING FROM THIS INTENSE HEAT, I’M GOING TO TRY TO FIND A HYENA DEN ONLY A FEW SHRUBS GROW OUT HERE AND WHAT ANIMALS THERE ARE SEEK SHADE WHEREVER THEY CANFIND IT Austin: See these termite mounds, it’s a favourite haunt of animals They dig out an old termite mound that is not being used by the termites anymore You might find all kinds of little animals going inside places like this But there’s something that’s been digging here during the night May have been a porcupine, it could have been anything Something fooling around here Ha, look what I’ve got Oh, look at that Look at that! That’s a little sand boa Very different from the boa’s you’d expect to see when you’re in the, ouch, he’s trying to take a bite at me, oh look at that He’s really mad He says I’ve pulled him out of the sand They’re very different to the boa constrictors you’d expect to find in the Americas, climbing the trees, you know the big snakes like this These are tiny little guys Most people think boa constrictors are always big, yet in Africa we only have one genus of boa and this is him Isn’t he fantastic and he doesn’t get much bigger then this either Gorgeous look at him He’s pretty oh look at him he’s so cross, ouch, look at that, you’re cross with me, bit me right on the finger Okay, relax, relax, we’ve got to let him go to calm down They are basically fossorial snakes, they live most of their lives under the sand You can see, I’m just going to catch him behind the head See he head he has a sharp little nose over there and that’s sharp little edge is capable of burrowing under the sand and he moves under the sand and sometimes he’ll just stick his head up and he’ll catch lizards and sometimes tiny little baby mice and stuff and he’ll feed on that Oh but he’s absolutely gorgeous but he’s really wild he doesn’t like being pulled out of there Look at my finger bleeding there What have you done? Of course they’re not venomous like all they pythons and boas, they’re harmless snakes But they have teeth like you can see there, even a little guy like this has got enough teeth to actually defend himself, to actually bite with Look at that, oh he’s so cute, he’s so gorgeous The top, ouch, stop doing that He’s saying he’s going to bite this guy continuously until he lets me go I’m going to put him right back here If you watch and he gets the feeling of the sand, see how he digs himself in straight away? Watch him go under, he says I don’t want to be on the surface, I want to get out And he disappears just like that Incredible Yeah I’m going to leave you alone now, don’t worry That was fantastic I CONTINUE MY SEARCH LIKE THE BOA, HYENAS HAVE TO TAKE COVER FROM THE SUN SO IT’S NO SURPRISE THEY MIGHT HAVE CHOSEN THIS AREA – THE UNUSUAL ROCK FORMATIONS PROVIDE

PERFECT SHELTER THIS CREVASSE WOULD MAKE AN IDEAL PLACE FOR A DEN I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’LL ENCOUNTER DOWN THERE, BUT THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT… Austin: Look at this place – I don’t like going into places like this but I have to have a look and see what’s further down here Austin: So much cooler down here than up on the surface Big difference in temperature Almost looks like no-one’s ever been down here before, but I have noticed Hyena prints, animals have been down here… THIS FISSURE COULD GO ON FOR MILES AND IT’S QUITE EERIE BEING IN SUCH A CONFINED SPACE, KNOWING THERE MIGHT BE HYENAS AROUND THE NEXT CORNER BUT, DESPITE THE FOOTPRINTS, I SEE NO OBVIOUS SIGNS OF A DEN Austin: This Fissure is finally coming to an end and it’s narrowing Oh I don’t like this It’s closing up completely IT SEEMS I’VE COME TO A DEAD END IT’S ALMOST A RELIEF TO GET BACK TO SEARCHING AT GROUND LEVEL DESPITE THE BLISTERING TEMPERATURES UP THERE Austin: Have a look at this, that’s interesting There’s something you don’t see too often This is fur, fur and hooves of animals Hooves of small animals that the Hyenas of eaten When hyenas have a fur build up, too much, they can’t digest, they actually bring it up This is interesting the hoof actually has hair wrapped up right inside it So it’s all gathered in his stomach and not being able to digest and eventually brought it up That’s a sure sign that animals are staying in this one place for long periods Austin: This looks very promising, I’ve got footprints everywhere, definitely signs of activity Just coming up here, I can see a cleared space This whole area has been churned up with feet And there’s a hole, there’s a hole… Austin: Oh yes, this is it, look at the size of this cavern There’s a million Hyena prints around here, signs of them pulling things, dragging things, rolling around here I’ve got to stick my head in and have a look… ALL THE SIGNS ARE RIGHT BUT I HAVE TO GET CLOSER TO CONFIRM THAT THIS IS AN ACTIVE DEN Austin: It’s enormous, goes all the way back there I can hear them, I can hear their voices all around I’m not going to push my luck any more than that but this is the place, this is where the hyenas are This space and there’s caves and caverns going off in all directions, could be a hundred Hyenas in here, this is the place I must stake out…

HYENAS ONLY REALLY BEGIN STIRRING AT DUSK, AS THEY’RE GETTING READY TO HUNT BUT I’VE GOT A PLAN TO LURE THEM OUT OF THE DEN IN DAYLIGHT Austin: I’ve got a couple of recordings here of lambs in distress, lions on a kill this always excites Hyenas They know if there’s a lion on a kill they go next So I’m going to play these and just see what happens HALF AN HOUR GONE, AND THEY DON’T SEEM TEMPTED BY MY LAMB SOUNDS I’LL TRY ‘LION ON A KILL’ LIONS AND HYENAS ARE SWORN ENEMIES, FREQUENTLY FIGHTING OVER FOOD THIS SHOULD STIR THEIR INTEREST Austin: Here that? Definitely young ones There’s young ones in there I must be really careful don’t want a female to think I’m threatening young ones, that would be dangerous As with any animals in the wild don’t threaten their young, then you’re in trouble Can you hear them calling? Shuffling around, maybe their moving them now, maybe they’re a bit nervous, maybe their picking up my smell or maybe their getting ready to come out I’m not having much success otherwise but now that gives me something to wait for, I’m going to hang on a little bit longer I’m going to see what happens Listen to that, Wow, there’s some serious Hyenas in there THAT COULD BE A WARNING OR A THREAT HYENA CALLS HAVE MANY DIFFERENT MEANINGS AS NIGHT FALLS THEY SHOULD BE COMING OUT OF THE DEN TO HUNT BUT FOR SOME REASON, THEY’RE NOT PLAYING BALL Austin: They’re not coming out while I’m here It’s not working I’ve got cramp from waiting here I’m going to have to reconsider this and come back tomorrow and see if I can think of something else These guys are pretty wise I SPEND THE NEXT DAY PONDERING HOW TO GET MY PHOTO FINALLY I DECIDE ON A RADICAL NEW IDEA Austin: I’m trying a different tactic now; I’m actually going into their cave They won’t come out to me so I’m going into them I’m building this rig I’ve got an infra-red light compacting camera and spare wheel what’s left of it And I’m going to put it inside the cave and I’m just going to leave it Going to put rocks each side and I’m just going to stand it up there I’m just going to let them go mad see what the Hyenas are doing in there while I’m outside looking on in BUT THERE’S ONE BIG HITCH IN MY PLAN I HAVE TO GET THE CAMERA INSIDE THE DEN I’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE – I’M NOT SURE ANYONE HAS ENTERING A WILD HYENA DEN IS A VERY DANGEROUS MOVE Austin: I’m connecting everything up now……..getting the infrared running, the light and the camera at the same time Of course when I’m in there I don’t want to waste a mintue I want to get out as fast as possible these guys must be waking up around now Everything’s running smoothly Here goes nothing This might not be the cleverest thing I’ve ever done But I’m going to do it anyway because my curiosity has got the better of me I want to see what’s going on in here at night This thing weighs a tonne…

Austin: Got eyes looking straight at me There’s at least one Hyena at least on guard I’m still going to go in They’re right at the back They’re getting ready to come out that’s for sure I’ve got to do this quickly I think that Hyena’s a guard, I’m sure she’s a guard because she just stays there I DEFINITELY HEARD CUBS CALLING LAST NIGHT SO I HAVE TO BE EXTRA CAREFUL HYENA FEMALES WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO PROTECT THEIR YOUNG Austin: She’s moving around She’s getting a bit edgy about me being here… IF THAT HYENA DECIDES I’M A THREAT SHE COULD COVER THE SHORT DISTANCE BETWEEN US IN A MATTER OF SECONDS I HAVE TO WORK QUICKLY Austin: Just in case they get curious and they start fooling around here, I don’t want it to roll I’m getting the heck out of here MY INFRARED CAMERA IS SAFELY INSTALLED IN THE HYENA DEN Austin: All I can do now is hope….watch and hope Austin: I’ve got about one hour, by this time ten minutes less than one hour and that’s all the time I’ve got because I’m not going down there to change that tape, that’s for sure So I hope all the squabbling I heard last night will maybe happen again tonight And the sun has just set down it’s perfect timing Austin: Look at this, I can just see the first Hyena, just its ears coming forward….they’re, exploring, checking out everything before the others come, I bet you… It’s going away again That’s okay, she’s going to tell the others, that’s alright They’re going to come out, you watch I know it’s going to happen… BUT THEN IT ALL GOES QUIET AGAIN AS THE MINUTES TICK BY IT SEEMS THAT JUST LIKE LAST NIGHT THE HYENAS ARE KEEPING A LOW PROFILE …..UNTIL… Austin: Watch this, watch this…here comes a second one….I’ve got two on screen at the one time isn’t that fantastic I’d love them to come close to the camera The ears are so finally tuned that they probably can hear the camera and see the light They just don’t know what it is I’ve got the first one coming close to camera There you are These guys have been giving me the run around, got him right in my lens More eyes in the background waiting Always one curious one bringing the other in He really wants to know what’s going on here.… Please come back, please come back…He’s coming to look at the camera.. his head keeps popping in to the lens every now and then And a rock fell down there, he kicked the rock down Look at the dust behind him THE CLAN IS DEFINITELY BECOMING MORE ACTIVE Austin: I’ve only got fifteen minutes of tape left…..this one’s coming right in…he’s coming to look at the camera…… He’s stunningly beautiful…just look at that….wow, he stood right in front of the lens I think they’re heading out the door but they’re very nervous, taking their time, one going out at a time eventually MORE AND MORE HYENAS SEEM TO BE EMERGING FROM THE TUNNELS AT THE BACK OF THE CAVE AND HEADING TO THE ENTRANCE WHICH MEANS THEY COULD BE HEADING STRAIGHT FOR ME Austin: Listen to them calling, they’re calling all the time…and it’s pitch black where I’m sitting, pitch black…with just my little monitor…it’s quite an eerie feeling to say the least… SUDDENLY THE ATMOSPHERE IN THE CAVE CHANGES Austin: Watch him run, he’s running right across….like

something spooked him….it’s like there was a little tussle or something and he just screamed across the lens… THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE HYENAS OUTSIDE CHANGES TOO Austin: Can hear Hyenas calling all around me, all around There’s obviously a lot of hyenas in the field here I SUDDENLY BECOME AWARE THAT THEY CAN SEE EXACTLY WHERE I AM THEIR NIGHT VISION IS AS SHARP AS THEIR DAY VISION IT SEEMS THEY’VE TURNED THE TABLES AND NOW THEY’RE WATCHING ME I CAN HEAR THEM ALL AROUND ME TIME TO GO……BUT NOT WITHOUT MY CAMERA Austin: I don’t like doing this but I don’t want to leave it until morning in case they chew something….from what I could see on the camera the cave is empty but all these hyenas are hanging around here so I’m not sure what’s going on A couple of bats in here but I don’t see any hyenas at the moment Problem is they’re all outside and I don’t know why they’re waiting…..oh there’s one…we’ve got a Hyena, I’ve got another Hyena in here This is what worries me I don’t know how many animals are in and out of here I’ve got to get my rig, got to keep an eye I don’t trust this one bit… Austin: It’s fantastic; I’m just looking at some of the footage shot in the cave tonight I’m really pleased with it actually I came all this way thinking I must get a shot of these hyenas in daylight coming out of their cave and I just couldn’t get that right and I was very disappointed at first but then I got this idea to put this camera right inside the cave and actually to go inside the cave where these hyenas are living That’s fantastic I’m really pleased especially the shots where the Hyena came right up to the lens like that IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT WE CAME TO AN ARRANGEMENT, THE HYENAS AND ME THEY’D KEPT THEIR DISTANCE AND NOW IT WAS MY TURN TO DO THE SAME Austin: There’s something very special about these animals I’ve developed a very special feeling for them I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I WALKED AWAY FROM AN ASSIGNMENT WITHOUT GETTING THE PHOTOGRAPH I WANTED BUT I’D PUSHED IT AS FAR AS I COULD WITH THESE PREDATORS – FURTHER THAN WAS WISE WHAT I GOT INSTEAD WAS AN EXPERIENCE THAT FEW PEOPLE WILL EVER LIVE TO TELL AND A VISION OF HYENAS MORE VIVID THAN ANY PHOTOGRAPH

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