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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

NamibRand Boys (days 64-70)

The boys have stayed close to the girls' pen for the most part. However, they did hunt successfully on 10th February (Day 64). After this hunt, our boys did very little on the 11th. They stuck close to the girls pen, with Ra and Misty pacing along their respective sides together and Ra marking the fence during their stroll. In the early evening they moved off to their play tree and both Cadbury and Lindt marked it. The next day they did visit their regular hunting grounds on the pan in the early evening. Once there they first chased a group of zebra and then attempted to bring down an Oryx. Although we were not in a position to witness all of the action, it appears that they were unsuccessful on this occasion.

Day 68 (14th Feb) was spent vying for the attentions of the girls. Rosy seems to be the most attractive of the two, although Mushara was seen to chase Misty for a brief period - she however fled further in to her enclosure, out of sight. In the evening the boys headed out onto the pan once more, presumably to hunt and then returned yet again to the girls. There is no evidence to suggest that they hunted successfully however. The next evening (map below) they moved off into the large pan, where they made a very half-hearted attempt at chasing a group of Oryx. They basically just ran into the middle of them and chased them in a circle before stopping to rest. Next they ran after a group of about 15 Zebra who saw them coming from a distance and easily avoided them.

090215 Day 69.jpg

After five days without eating, they still looked fit and healthy with no signs of slowing down. Finally, on day 70 (16th Feb.), the boys have finally managed to kill another antelope. They must have been feeling pretty hungry since hey moved out into the pan in mid-morning after spending only a very few hours with the girls. In the early evening, Kia made one attempt at hunting a large bull hartebeest. He saw it running from a distance and perfectly ran from the hill he was resting on to intercept it right about where it crossed his path he then ran along side of it for a few metres before taking a great swipe to try and trip it up. It nearly worked but the bull was too big and just managed to keep its footing. Kia gave up after this and returned to where the others had just caught up to him.

Sometime later in the night they got a young Oryx, who was resting with another adult, by a surprise attack. There were no tracks indicating a run-down or much of a struggle apart from the direct kill site. There was no sat. info for them from last night but I managed to follow their tracks around the pan from where we left them to the site. The Oryx must have been surprised during the night and then the adult, probably the mother, was chased off a few metres. Whoever chased her away then returned to the kill. The mother came back a little closer and then hung around circling the area before finally leaving.

It has now been nearly three weeks since we last had to supplement the boys diet.


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