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Saturday, 13 June 2009

NamibRand: What to do about Shanti? 12/6/2009

I’m going to skip most of the story today and cut right down to brass taxes. I’m a little worried about how much pressure to put on Shanti. Going out to try and get a better look at her yesterday, she disappeared again. We had been tracking her across the plains in the South-Eastern corner of Moringa Valley, and so as not to spook her, we stuck to the river beds and as much cover as possible. Still, when we must have been at least 1.5 – 1km away, the signal strengthened, weakened and then vanished as she ran over the hill. I’m just worried that by constantly chasing her, we’re putting too much strain and stress on her, and with that pressure she should be spending her time hunting as opposed to evading us.

I think I’ll just have to let her be for awhile again, only getting signal information from her. That said, I still don’t have any idea about her present condition which is the problem. Any comments or suggests would be most welcome.

As far as our boys are concerned, life seems to be back to a normal “routine”. They were unsuccessful in the Keerweder Pan last night it seems and have since wandered into the veld just West of Boscia watering hole where they spent much of the day resting. It looks like they weren’t in a rush to get back to the pens for a change so hopefully they stay out over night and catch something then.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed a huge increase on Leopard activity in the area. There’s the one still hanging around its kill site with the Oryx, we found tracks of a smaller, presumably female in the riverbeds of Moringa Valley as we tracked Shanti and there were more tracks of another large male walking up towards the Boscia watering hole as we searched for the boys. Apparently, this is the time of the year that they come down out of the mountains. I just hope our boys and girls have enough sense to remain wary.

That’s it for now but I’ll be in touch again soon. Thanks, -James.

PS - On the map for Shanti: Red: where she was roughly, Green: where she ran to roughly. –J.

1 comment:

  1. Hi James,
    I visited CCF two years ago and fell in love with cheetahs. I just found you today and I am so happy that I did. I will follow your experience with Shanti. Shanti is a lucky cheetah to have you looking out for her. Keep us the great work.
    Nancy Valentine