It’s Monday 24th September 2007 and the determined dog

It’s Monday 24th September 2007 and the determined dog

This week I am going to give you bits and pieces. I have saved snippets during the week but if a bigger story comes up and they do not get to press then they are put on hold. Well I now have a number in the “on hold” tray and so here they are.

Elephants at Palmgrove – Chris and Sally Ring spent a couple of nights at the Palmgrove and were the first guests to see the elephants we have been hearing every night in the grove. They were spotted from the camp as were some reedbuck. As you know this is the first year we have operated in the “wild and desperate” country as Robin puts it. It really is a wild place the game has been shy! But it seems, as always, they are getting used to our presence.

Frank and Barbara, who have retired from their annual RPS safaris as mentioned a couple of weeks ago, reported to their agent that they saw 20 different leopard sightings in their twelve night stay with us! We do not “count” or “score” sightings. It is not a sport after all and each sighting is a unique experience. But, you have to be impressed! I am putting in a photo taken by the Nicholson’s here in August – been on the to add list !!!!

The Translocation – the Wild Dog team have been busy translocating and releasing a wild dog in the Mupamdazi area. There is a pack of six males there and so it was thought they would quite like some female company! The female had suddenly appeared on a game ranch in Kafue, south of Lusaka, and started killing the livestock animals. Not a happy farmer. So National Parks captured her and delivered her to the zoo where the AWDC team were to take over. They darted her but she took a long time to go down and in the end they had to trap her into the crate and wait for her to go to sleep before putting the tracking collar on. A chartered plane took her and the team straight into the new Lundu airstrip near the Mupamadzi. Then after a bumpy hour long drive she was released into the specially built boma. Now this boma is large – 75 meters square, and took ten people a week to build.

Day 1 – the dog spent the day recovering (probably felt like a hangover!). She feasted on half an impala.
Day 2 – ran around like a crazy thing, full of energy, leaping, sprinting and generally showing perfect health
Day 3 – enough of this. At 0850 she removed the connecting wire at a join in the fence, then separating the wire fence using her head and pushing through the grass wall and off…..freedom. A few rather bemused biologists were watching and there was nothing they could do.
Day 4 – her collar is sending a strong signal, and is moving around near the boma and so all seems well. Stay tuned for more.

The Long Walk – we had two very fit Dutch ladies staying at Tena Tena. They loved the walking and with Rocky, hatched a plan to walk from Tena Tena to Nkwali. Now that is around thirty kilometers. And remember it is September. Hot. They crossed the river at 0615 and set off down the west bank. On the way they managed to stop and take time to photograph, including the an olive grass snake feeding on a frog. They watched a male lion at the Waffwa, a sleeping leopard with an impala kill in a tree and saw many elephants. They walked onto Mfuwe Lagoon for a four hour lunch break. One of the walkers bailed out at this point but Rocky and the second walker carried on for another three hot hours. On arrival at Nkwali they fell into the pool. Not surprising! That was an impressive walk.

Finally – Robin and I were out in the bush yesterday. We ended up doing the transfers! We took two to Tena Tena and then dropped off another two at Nsefu. A camera in hand, and sitting at the back I enjoyed playing the “guest” for a change. And of course with digital you can now afford to click click click. So these last two shots come from me rather unusually.
On that note……have a wonderful week.

PS the final shot is Two Two – the poser who lives behind Tena Tena. Great shot from Rocky.

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