Friday, December 28, 2007

Spectators at a Coati Fight

I have another story from Guatemala involving a Gray Fox. Several years after my last full field season in Guatemala, I was fortunate enough to go back to Tikal and to take along my oldest son, Nate. He was, I believe, 8 years old at the time, and our object was to obtain some blood samples from Swallow-tailed Kites for a genetic (taxonomy) study being conducted by a friend of mine. This true story is Nathan's fondest memory of that trip.

I was high in a tree at the time (in the large Plaza where the main Maya temples are located), and Nate was cooling his heels on the ground below. A commotion broke out nearby, and when he went over to investigate he found that two male Coatis (Nasua narica, members of the same family as the Raccoon) were engaged in a fight. Nathan sat down to watch (as any sensible 8-year-old would have done). But the amazing thing was that so, too, did one of the Gray Foxes that frequented the Plaza. The fox actually sat down on his haunches, only feet away from my son, the two of them only yards away from the Coatis wrestling in the dust of a late May day.

Here's a pic of that 8-year-old sitting on the steps of Temple 2...

No comments: