The bare facts.
In the last 8 weeks we have lost 18 wild dogs to rabies. Brownie died last night.
Whisky and Stitch are still looking great and if they make it, they have the potential to start up a whole new pack together. Wouldn’t that be just wonderful? But that would only come about this time next year. It’s a long wait and they still have many obstacles to cross before they get there.
My vehicle problems just don’t want to go away. Now my second vehicle is also down with a broken chassis and spring. We sure put these vehicles through their paces with all the off road travel we do, so not surprising they have the odd hiccup. Although I’d appreciate it if they didn’t both hiccup at the same time.
I limped around the reserve and found Whisky and Stitch early up in the north.
And then limped on to Sosigi dam via Manyuchi pan where some zebra were drinking.
I spent most of the day at Sosigi dam hoping the elephant bulls would come and swim. But I guess it’s just not hot enough for that. Several of them did venture down for a drink and the big dude crossed the dam to get to his mates.
The stunning moon rise on the way back to camp made up for it.
I think I could safely guess this image to be of a man! Looks like a happy one too!
Well actually it was a good day but seems like a bad one just because of some little vehicle problem. Well maybe not so little. Anyway once I’ve fitted a new carburettor we should be back on track.
But because of this I didn’t get the time in the afternoon to find the wild dogs. I searched for about an hour in the area I’d left them yesterday but they weren’t there.
I’m sure I’ll pick them up tomorrow though.
At Sosigi dam at dusk a lone elephant bull was just leaving from a drink. There seems to be quite a bit of bull activity around the dam so I might just spend some time there tomorrow after I find the wild dogs.
Chekwa pan was again rumbling with elephants. But this time the bulls were totally dominating the fresh water coming in to the pan. The cow herd could only stand around waiting their turn but eventually gave up and went off to forage.
There’s also a new calf in the herds. This little guy has such attitude for his age, not even 2 months old.
Midday I was heading through Banyini and descending vultures homed me in to an impala carcass with some 100 vultures packing it. I’m not sure how it died but being a male, it could be from fighting as the rut is now in full swing.
These images are probably from the same artist as the images posted yesterday. They’re mostly women, but I’m not sure what they’re doing. Are they praying to the gods? Or maybe dancing?
The good run didn’t last.
This evening we had to put down Split and the un-named BB pup. Neither of them were really showing typical rabies symptoms but both we very emaciated and kept falling over having already been in the advanced stages of rabies. They wouldn’t have lasted the night.
There is the slightest bit of good news and that is the pack killed again this evening. Whisky is being quite the provider. Stitch and Whisky fed really well with huge stomachs but all 3 the other dogs, although trying to feed, their stomachs weren’t showing any signs.
Brownie is probably on his way out too, but was still fairly strong.
When they were on their kill a lone hyaena arrived. Brownie went up to it, it didn’t back off, and then proceeded to bite it hard several times on the backside. It couldn’t believe what was happening. This attack from Brownie is a little concerning as he could be passing on his rabies to the hyaena.
So I’ll be keeping close tabs on Brownie tomorrow.
I had a wonderful time earlier in the day with the elephant herds at Chekwa pan. (Mandlovu and her herd weren’t amongst the visitors) They were drinking and wallowing for several hours and completely surrounded me totally unconcerned.
Mama-Notch spent nearly an hour standing right next to my car (about 2m away) waiting her turn to go and drink. She’s amazing. Just doesn’t show any fear for me or my vehicle. But she’s never tried touch the car like One-Tusk.
I also had a young bull come and stand next to my door just waiting too.
It’s really great that I can always rely on the elephant to provide me with relief from the harsh life that the bush sometimes dishes out.
This artist has his own style, very different to any of the other paintings we have seen.
In this scene he seems to be depicting hunters all in different positions with their bow and arrows.