Anne Hilborn

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Fieldwork... Oh the glamour...

In the three years I spent a a research assistant on the Serengeti Cheetah Project from 2004-2007  I had incredible experiences that come from being in such an beautiful place surrounded by an astounding diversity of wildlife.  Spending most of each day watching cheetahs also lent itself to seeing fantastic things.  However, spending that much time driving over a landscape liberally blessed with rutted and corregated roads, warthog and ardvark holes, airfilter clogging grasses and dust, as well as sucking mud in the wet season resulted in getting stuck, breaking down, flat tires, running out of fuel and other hijinks that  make every day in the field a unique challenge.  

Father daughter bonding, Serengeti style.  Just to be clear, I was the one driving when we hit the mud. My father was not amused.

Jack and dig....jack and dig



Despite our success, my father is still not amused.

This definitely counts as the good times

Pic by Sarah Durant


pics by Ulrike Hilborn

Part of my job involved collecting scat samples from cheetahs to get genetic sampels to determine paternity. Glamour personified (pics by Sarah Durant).

Square Square Square

Locating the scat is fairly easy on bare rock.  An ice cream spoon is the prefered tool of all true professionals.

Depending on consistancy, it can be surprisingly tricky to get the sample into the tube.

Letting the attention wander by posing for flattering pictures is a tactical error...

Square Square

Ack!  Did I drop it?  What are those brown spatters on my leg??

Success at last!  Two tubes filled with scat.


My steady steed, the TDI Landrover

A respectably dirty car

Driving through long grass is hard on the airfilter. I stuck some mesh in front to catch the grass seeds.  Yes, people laughed.  No, I didn't care.

Ah, tea time...

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