We have had a serious baby boom in our two lion prides on the reserve. It would be nice to keep all the lions here at Shamwari but because the balance between predators and prey has to be kept, we had to say good bye to one of our young males. This gave our students the opportunity to dart and get up close to the king of the jungle. On the first trip when we went out to dart him ,we found him sleeping in an open plain and we thought that it was too good to be true and it was going to be easy to dart him, but as soon as he heard the vets car coming he got up and walked straight into the thickest bush as if he knew what was coming his way. We tried later in the week and luckily he was more obliging and presented his bum to us for the dart. It all went very well and the students were able to get some amassing photos and get to partake in this special relocation. We hope he enjoys his new home. We will try and get some pics of the new cubs for you but the new moms are keeping them all pretty well hidden.
A herd of buffalo which lives in our northern section of Shamwari had to be treated for skin parasites. We left early in the morning to try and find the heard and lucky for us we managed to locate them with not too much effort . This particular herd is pretty relaxed with the game viewer so all we had to do was to creep in slowly and spray them with a syringe filled with the insecticide. It sounds crazy but it was very affective.
The Shamwari Rhino awareness centre was opened by conservation icon Dr Ian player at the beginning of the month. The centre is there to create awareness on the Crisis situation of our rhinos in South Africa. We will be continually adding our research results and findings to the centre through our monitoring programmes.
We started a new project this month whereby, with the help of the university of grahams town (Rhodes) , we erected mist nets and caught birds which were ringed and set free. Their weight, time of the year, breed and so forth is all placed in a national register so when they are caught again either by us or someone else the data can be compared. This takes allot of patience but we all found it great fun and interesting. to see how many different species we could ring in a day. The plan in the near future is to have all our own equipment and be able to catch, monitor and ring ourselves. Bird conservation is very important and they are the first species that you will notice being affected due to global warming, specially with migration and breeding habits and by being able to monitor individuals vital information can be obtained.
These are just a few highlights that we got up to this month. Go check out our Face book page for more day to day highlights and conservation in Africa. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed doing.