College of Arts & Science at Miami University
Biodiversity of Kenya
(with Stevi Hautau, August 2010)
A full text transcript of the video is available below.
(In this video Stevi Hautau, a zoology major and environmental science co-major, describes her research on large cats in Kenya. There is footage of students observing leopards, cheetahs, and lions in their native habitats in Kenya.)
"I focused my research on the large cats in Kenya, specifically the leopard, the cheetah, and the lion. I was trying to look at a little bit of social behavior and the group dynamics as well as the hunt and how they do their predator-prey directions and how the hunts (the styles) differ between the three species and how the prey differ between the three species.
In the field it's almost entirely observation. You're just looking for these animals. You're watching. You see what they do, how they interact and, of course, we got a chance to talk with the guides, who were so knowledgeable about almost all aspects of Kenya: the people, the plants, the animals, everything. And so they helped a lot.
So, a combination of being in the field, observing these animals. Here are the cats I'm looking at, the lions, and I'm watching how they interact, the pride. You know, it's interesting to see that there are actually several males in the pride versus what people might normally think of just one male and a group of females.
But as you're seeing these animals and watching them and seeing how they interact, we also have the guides who we can ask questions and they share so much information with us and it kind of broadens our horizons. It's not just listening or learning in one part and then observing in the other. It's all right there. You're watching these animals and you're getting the information as it goes more in-depth and it's really a great way to learn.
But, being a ZOO major, I was really interested in the species aspect, being able to see all these animals. There were so many incredible animals to see among this trip. And the large cats are just, of course, very charismatic and just fascinating. Everybody's got their, you know, particulars. I mean, all the species, of course, were incredible and it was so neat to broaden my horizons as such but the cats just, you know, they just won my heart."