The unending trials of the male wildebeest
Here's another close-up of the very ugly wildebeest.
We spent a long time watching five or six males chasing each other around and butting heads as they were trying to defend their harems. Some of the females would sneak away and the male would try to herd them back, honking and stomping the whole way. This is how they spend their days. Every day. From dawn to dusk. Running, honking and butting heads.
The wildebeest ended up being the prime victims of the American Indifference Function. This equation determined how much attention we would pay to animals we were passing in the truck. If the function returned a high enough number, then we would stop and look. Else, we would continue on. The primary inputs were:
- Number of days on the trail
- Number of times we have seen something
- Inherent coolness of the animal/bird/tree
For the first couple of days, we would stop at anything. If we saw an elephant half a mile away, that was good for 15 minutes of binocular gazing. Towards the end, it would take more to get us interested.
The first time we saw any type of animal was always exciting. After the hundredth time, it loses a little of the edge.
A lion or a leopard is just much cooler than a zebra or a hartebeest.
The exact equation is patent pending, so I can't share it with you, but I can tell you that by the last couple of days, a wildebeest would have to be licking my face for me to notice it.