Monday, July 25th, 2011
To most of you, this photo looks like a hyena…or possibly a jackal…but you would be mistaken…sort of. An aardwolf (like an aardvark) eats termites and is basically part hyena, part jackal….and almost entirely impossible to get a glimpse of.
When I took this photo, the group had no idea what we had seen and we spent the better part of an hour trying to figure it out. It wasn’t until some time later that Jim was able to ID the animal using his iPad field guide app. In so doing, we discovered just how lucky we were to catch a glimpse of such a wonderfully shy and elusive creature. That, plus the fact that we had been driving 100km/hr down the same stretch of road for countless hours:
Staring at grasslands like this:
Spotting an animal that has adapted to live in this environment, camouflaged, no less, is hard enough… Spotting an actual Aardwolf was rather unbelievable and pretty freaking awesome.
We later realized just how cool we were when we found ourselves talking with a guide at the Cheetah Conservation Fund who had lived in Namibia for 20+ years and had never seen one. This guy works with Cheetahs for a living and was jealous that we caught a glimpse of an ant-eating dog.