It’s Monday 20th February 2017 and slithering snakes

I do hope that you are all well, happy and healthy. Hope no one is put off by this weeks’ It’s Monday title… It is a risky one but I have decided that it was just too good a story to pass up so here we go. 

We have recently welcomed a new member to the team, Michael, who is hosting at Nkwali for now and then will be scooting up to our Mobile Walking when we open that for the season; his first week has certainly kept him busy.  We decided to send him off to Luangwa River Camp for a few days to see the camp, meet the team and also learn the ropes from Yvonne and it was not long until he was in the middle of the action.  

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Whilst standing at the laundry with some of the guys just going through bits and pieces they all of a sudden heard the local troop of baboons going absolutely crazy.  Screaming and barking and really not letting up.  Now this usually is an indicator of a leopard so they tentatively poked their heads around the grass fence thinking at this point that the grass fence was obviously a strong and safe structure!  Not to worry no leopard but now the question marks were flying and everyone really wanted to know what on earth all of the noise was about.  Time to investigate… coming from behind the fence and walking towards the baboons they could see that they were all looking at something on the floor and were tentatively attacking whatever it was.  It turns out that there was a 3m long python coiled round a young baboon and the rest of the troop were attacking the snake to free their comrade.  Noticing that it was a breeding female and such a beautiful specimen, the decision was made to try to save the snake; but however much distraction was made the baboons were not going to let up. 

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Option two then had to come into play, which was to let the snake go hungry and physically remove it.  The snake was pretty shaken up and bruised and had quite a few superficial wounds all over, but by this point had started to loose interest in the food. Michael picked her up and moved her to a nice quiet bush behind camp away from the baboons where she could lick her wounds, recover and get ready for her next meal.  While it is never ideal to stop an animal from enjoying a meal it is not often that we see such big pythons in such good condition so lets hope that she makes a good and speedy recovery and will produce a clutch of eggs before long.

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So there you have it news from Luangwa River Camp.  Other than that, I know that last week we headed over to Zimbabwe so I feel that this week we should give you a little update from Malawi just to make sure that we have crossed as many borders as possible. There was a particularly nail biting moment at Mkulumadzi last week when the Mkulumadzi river all of a sudden just came right up in a flash flood and the water levels reached the height of the footbridge which is the only access in and out of camp at this time of the year.  Water the bridge can handle but eek a tree or large log being swept down would not have been fun so the teams sat there keeping a close eye on the water just hoping that nothing was going to happen. After a few very very very long hours the water started to subside and level 10 on the panic scope went down a few notches with a very large sigh of relief.

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As you can see no rest for the wicked and we are being kept busy on all fronts that is for sure.  But for this week though I am going to leave you to it and bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have an absolute cracker of a week with lots of smiles and laughter.

Ems

 

 

 

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