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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Latest from NamibRand - 10/6/2009

Mushara (photo by James)

Today was something else. I mean, even for our five, they did practically nothing (that I could see) all day! They were resting in the morning and then moved a couple of hundred metres around the corner and stayed there all afternoon. I think they may be resting up before going out hunting again tomorrow. Sometimes they seem lazier than normal the day before heading off, but they aren’t usually this bad. Maybe they had a bad night’s sleep with all the wind again yesterday, who knows? So I can’t report much besides Kia looked like he was scouting around for game (just looking, not moving of course…) and Mushara got up and stretched once. That’s about it really.

Shanti is a little more interesting though. She’s moved another good distance again and is hugging close to the mountains between the Draaihoek area and the Moringa valley, not too far from where I last caught a sighting of her. I followed her (with the signal, not visual) for most of the morning and saw that eventually she must have stopped in a crevice up the side of the hills, like she did last time.

I wanted to wait for a bit to let her settle down before chasing her off so, I went a little further down the road to check on an injured/sick Oryx who can’t walk, as her back legs have given in. She was first discovered during the Game Count on Sunday and when we went out to try and euthanize her, we realised she still had a very young calf with her that must be still suckling. We decided it would be best not to do anything in the end and just let nature take its course. Finding her today, near her resting place, we discovered some tracks and then caught a glimpse of our new friend, the Draaihoek Leopard. I imagine he’ll probably finish the job for us but we lost sight of him quickly and even though Paul and I tried to locate him again, he was gone. This put us in a predicament for sure. Shanti was safe but, we couldn’t go out walking when he was out in the bushes somewhere close by. Very frustrating but, if he does feed this evening I doubt he’ll pose a threat to us tomorrow, as long as we don’t push our luck. Nice to see him again though, as long as he stays away from the cheetahs, of course.

I checked again and Shanti was still in the same spot this evening so we’ll just have to wait and see if we can get to her in the morning. As long as she doesn’t trek over the mountains, getting a good sighting shouldn’t be a problem. Wish us luck!

Thanks, -James.

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