Not everything I come across in my day to day is a cute little elephant shrew (https://steemit.com/steemstem/@holothewise/field-encounters-on-the-trail-of-the-elephant-shrew-original-footage), though some findings are certainly stranger than others. Today, walking through the fynbos, I found this:
Yes, that is the disembodied head of a Rock Hyrax - Procavia capensis
Curious, my colleague and I spent some time looking around for the body to no avail and noticed too how cleanly the head had been removed from it:
I'm no expert in identifying predators from the carcasses they leave but I suspect there aren't many things in these mountains that could do this
The hard stony ground made it difficult to find any tracks to boot, so it's impossible for me to say what killed this little guy, but the usual culprits include animals such as leopard:
Or the smaller caracal:
though some larger birds of prey and snakes are known to take them too, but the positioning on the ground and severed head seem to indicate this isn't the case. Another possible predator is the serval:
though these are more typical of grassland areas.
If I had to put my money on one of these, I'd probably go with the caracal, though leopards have been seen in these mountains. Regardless of which it was, it's always a thrill to find one is sharing these wide, wild spaces with such beautiful neighbors, even if all we ever see of them is evidence.
Happy Steeming People,
The Wise Fox
Hyrax facts: http://www.outtoafrica.nl/animals/enghyrax.html?zenden=2&subsoort_id=4&bestemming_id=1
First two images are my own, the rest from wikimedia commons