The Maasai Mara is a major research center for the spotted hyena. With two field offices in the Mara, the Michigan State University-based Kay E. Holekamp Lab studies the behavior and physiology of this predator, as well as doing comparison studies between large predators in the Mara Triangle and their counterparts in the eastern part of the Mara.
The Maasai Mara (also known as the Masai Mara, and locally simply as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara” means “spotted” in the local Maasai language of Maa, due to the many trees which dot the landscape.
It is world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lions, leopards, cheetahs and elephant, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and other antelope, to and from the Serengeti every year known as the Great Migration.