Forum Index > Other Birds and Wildlife > African Wildlife
 African Wildlife "Chat and News"
 |  Printable Version
By: Anonymous: CJ () on Wednesday, January 06 2010 @ 10:39 AM EST (Read 28568 times)  
Anonymous: CJ

Here is a place where you can ~~

Chat about African wildlife or . . .

Post news articles and links about other African wildlife or . . .

Post upcoming TV shows about African wildlife or . . .

Post topics that do not relate to a specific African camera but are based on African wildlife or . . .

Just about anything that is African wildlife ~~

So, if you don't know where to post something in our African Wildlife area, post it here!





       
   
By: eiguoc (offline) on Tuesday, January 19 2010 @ 11:15 AM EST  
eiguoc

This is someone who is a friend on NING. Amazing photography

http://www.studio-aat.com/092/09201.htm


Pat=photographer & cat mom
Pardon my shortening memory
Member since Aug 23/06


Forum

Status: offline

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 4178
Scarborough, Ontario

Profile     PM
   
By: BBE (offline) on Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 02:09 PM EST  
BBE

Pat, your friend has some beautiful and awesome photos from their trip. Thanks for the link.


BBE
"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."
by Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)


Forum

Status: offline

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 2690
Nr. Vancouver, B.C.

Profile Email   PM
   
By: BBE (offline) on Thursday, February 11 2010 @ 11:49 PM EST  
BBE

Elephant Plains Game Lodge - Newsletter

Newsletter Vol.6 Nr.01 - January 2010


Manager’s Report - January 2010
For Elephant Plains Game Lodge January 2010 signaled a year of new beginnings and goals!

A new beginning is that of Louis Liversage. Louis started at the lodge as a junior ranger and lodge assistant two years ago. Some of you might have met Louis on arrival at the lodge when he checked you in and escorted you to your room. Some of you will remember him from the Africam blog. Louis has always aspired to become a ranger. He showed guts and determination by getting all the necessary qualifications to be able to guide at Elephant Plains. We decided to reward his hard work by offering him a guiding position. We wish him the best of luck and we’re sure that he would do us proud. We would like to welcome Conrad de Villiers to the Elephant Plains Family. He is starting as the new lodge assistant in early February.


Mapogo. Picture by Morne Fouche

Our goals for this year can be summarized as follows: to be the best that we can be! We want to continue with our value for money approach by going beyond the norm and providing much more than expected. We continually strive to better all aspects of the lodge, from delicious food, incredible service and fabulous accommodation to the most spectacular game viewing that you could wish for.

Elephant Plains has started a group on Facebook. You are welcome to join us and to add photos of your stay here. We will also update you on sightings, send lodge news through and regularly load new photos. You are also welcome to send suggestions on what you would like to see on the page.

Up to date we have received almost 500 mm of rain. This is great for the animals and the field. The rain has, however, caused some erosion and bush encroachment on the roads. We are hard at work to fix this. We have also decided to clear the area west of the airstrip up to Kraaines. This will improve game viewing by making it possible to spot game from the airstrip. This open area will also attract grazers like zebra, wildebeest and rhino, which will in turn attract the predators.

RECIPE OMITTED

From all the staff at Elephant Plains, we hope to spoil you soon. Stay tuned for next month’s report. Same place, same time...

Stephen Pieterse

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ranger’s Report - January 2010

The year started on a high! If you think some of the things you see on television are amazing, then you need to get to Elephant Plains! To give you a bit of a taste as to what we’ve seen this month – there were cheetahs, lions, leopards, wild dogs and much more. The past month has been really hot and this has also helped along sightings. On one occasion we saw a large herd of about 200 buffaloes quenching their thirst at Big Dam, while two big herds of elephants enjoyed playing in the water. While all this was going on, we almost missed Mbilo, the little female leopard who also came down to the dam. So we had three of the Big 5 in one sighting! The hippos residing in Big Dam were all huddled together in the middle of the dam, not too sure what to do with themselves with all the commotion happening around them. It was quite funny to witness! We’ve noticed a split in one of the bigger wild dog packs recently. We were very lucky to be able to see the dogs hunting while on a morning drive. They killed two impalas in the time we were with them. The average maximum temperature for the month was 30°C and we had 130 millimetres of rain.


Elephants at Big Dam

Elephant:
During the first couple of days we came across some very big breeding herds while out on drive and then, all of a sudden, we did not see any elephants for a few days. When the elephants returned, I noticed a lot of new additions to the herds. It seems that a lot of females gave birth during their mysterious disappearance. An interesting fact is that elephants are animals of routine. If one area is preferred by one matriarch for her herd to give birth, it will be passed on from one generation to the next. So, in theory, one herd will always have their young in more or less the same area. After all these years, I still enjoy watching the newborns trying to use their trunks. It takes a few months of watching their mothers using their trunks and a bit of practise before they know how to use theirs properly.

Rhino:
Londoz and Shorthorn have been scent marking along the edges of their territories in a hope to attract females, but to no avail. We haven’t seen any females in any of their territories for a while. One of the funniest moments ever in a sighting was when Shorthorn tried to locate Londoz who had been scent marking just a little too far into Shorthorn’s territory. With his nose to the ground, he was on such a mission that he did not even smell or see the Sandy Patch lioness and her cub resting behind a bush. He only realised they were there when the cub got such a fright and jumped into the air, making a huge noise. Shorthorn, in all his two ton glory, literally made a complete 180º spin in mid air and ran off in the opposite direction. It was absolutely hilarious to see. We are not sure what happens in the other half of Utah’s territory but when he is on our side, he moves around very relaxed. I have noticed that he’s picked up a scar or two in the past month, from fighting with another bull.


Leopard Sighting at Elephant Plains

Buffalo:
Usually we find that the breeding herds move far and wide and that the old males stay around our traversing area, but not this month. The breeding herds of buffaloes have been around the entire month, while we haven’t seen any female rhino’s lately. I reckon it has been far too hot for them to travel large distances, which is why they have made themselves at home in the Big Dam area. It is getting to that time of the season when parasites are causing quite a bit of discomfort on their bodies. This particular parasite fly will lay eggs on their skin which will then hatch and bore into the skin. With the high temperatures the discomfort level must almost be unbearable. We have seen a lot of new calves being born and they are very cute. It’s interesting to note that the buffalo females are almost always either pregnant or nursing. The females have a gestation of twelve months and usually have their young in the summer. Shortly after birth they will mate again.

Leopard:
Our males, Tyson and Mafufunyana have been around a lot this month. There were two unidentified females that came from the south and southeast. Both mated with Tyson. Mating can last for up to four days where copulation takes place every fifteen minutes or so. During these four days you will notice that the female prevents the male from hunting at all. By day four the male is totally famished and exhausted. The female does this to ensure she gets the male’s undivided attention. We suspect that Mafufunyana is getting a bit of pressure from a male in the east as he hardly every goes there anymore. The hard truth is also that he is getting old and is definitely not as strong as he used to be. The day will come that he will get chased from the area by a younger and stronger male. Our females are all doing very well. Salayexe and her cubs are looking fantastic. The male cub has been catching mongoose and scrub hares while his mom is out hunting. The cubs will be named in February – we will let you know what the names are. We were lucky to see Nyeleti and the three cubs as well. The small female has become quite the little fighter and is not scared to fight with her two brothers who are a bit bigger than her. Ntima was spotted every so often, but she is still keeping her cubs well hidden. We have received news from surrounding lodges that she still has all her cubs and we are looking forward to seeing them one of these days. Safari has picked up quite a bit of weight and looks very healthy. She is a perfect example of “never say die”. Thandi is moving more and more eastward and we are not seeing her as much as we used to. Shadow is in the east looking for a male to mate with. She should be able to have cubs within in the next year.

Lion:
We were very lucky to have had the Stix pride on our traversing area nearly every day, which caused many a happy guest! It was quite startling to see how small the pride has become. They used to be fifteen and now there are only seven left. The reason for the high mortality is their feeding frenzies with the Mapogo males and also not ignoring the fact that they are always looking for trouble with clans of hyenas - sometimes losing their cubs to the clan. They now consist of the three adult females and their four cubs, one of which is a male. He will hopefully join up with another male of his age to form a coalition sometime in the near future, as it’s close to impossible for a lone male to establish his own territory. The Sandy patch female and her cub are unfortunately not looking too good. She doesn’t have any successful hunts anymore and both she and her cub are losing weight rapidly. Her cub has started to catch tortoises to eat, but unfortunately, in the long run that is not good as she will wear her teeth down very quickly while trying to break the tortoise shell. But she has been a fighter from day one and I believe that things will soon get better for her.

Special sighting:
Hundreds of white storks feeding on Safari airstrip! Now, to some this may not seem special, but to see hundreds of these spectacular creatures huddled together is simply breathtaking.

Did you know?
The sex of a tortoise depends on the temperature of the soil in which it is born. Females are produced at higher temperatures such as 31-34°C and males are produced at temperatures between 26-29°C.

Well, that’s all from my side, the wild side at Elephant Plains. Hope to see you out on game drive soon!

Wayne Dovey


BBE
"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."
by Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)


Forum

Status: offline

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 2690
Nr. Vancouver, B.C.

Profile Email   PM
   
By: Anonymous: CJ () on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 10:38 AM EST  
Anonymous: CJ

Video and story of a new Leopard species found in Borneo ~

It resembles a Clouded Leopard and was found in Borneo:

Video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRbAvZraH3I

Story about the leopard (the video footage on this link is something else, so use the YouTube link.)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100215/ts ... 0215130517






       
   
By: eiguoc (offline) on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 11:45 AM EST  
eiguoc

Beautiful creature. I hope there are enough of them to continue their species


Pat=photographer & cat mom
Pardon my shortening memory
Member since Aug 23/06


Forum

Status: offline

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 4178
Scarborough, Ontario

Profile     PM
   
By: BBE (offline) on Monday, March 08 2010 @ 05:56 PM EST  
BBE

Elephant Plains Lodge

Newsletter Vol.6 Nr.02 - February 2010

As usual copied from my email and recipe omitted

Manager’s Report - February 2010

Due to the high humidity and temperatures averaging around the 30 degrees, February can best be described as one of the hottest months of the year. There is an up-side to this though: it can only get cooler from now on! Although the summer is slowly but surely changing into autumn, the rainy season is not officially over. We will still receive occasional rain up to April.

Last month signaled a new beginning to some members of staff and this month it is the end of a journey for others. It is with sadness that we have to say goodbye to two of our staff members. René Visser, our spa therapist, has decided to pursue a career in the city. Jaco Cilliers, our junior ranger, is engaged to be married and has decided to move back home. It is very difficult to say goodbye to these two because they have become a part of the family. We wish them the best of luck for the future. May they be happy and fulfilled in their new occupations!


Unknown Rhino male. Picture by Louis Liversage

The maintenance work at the lodge is never ending. It is important to stay up to date in this competitive industry because you always have to offer guests the highest possible standards. Therefore we are busy fixing the wooden fence surrounding the parking area, conference center and gym. We have also finished repainting the main building and I must admit the lodge looks lovelier than ever.

Stephen Pieterse

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ranger’s Report - February 2010
We can slowly start feeling the seasonal change in the air as the afternoons are becoming shorter and the evenings slightly cooler. I must say that this has brought relieve from the extreme heat that we have been experiencing. The temperatures at present are quite comfortable - not too hot and not too cold. The trees are still brilliantly green, but here and there the grass is starting to lose its colour. The month itself provided us with great game viewing. We had the Tsalala and Styx pride in our traversing area quite frequently during the month and as a result had excellent lion sightings. We had a bit of rain during February, but not enough to fill up the waterholes. The rain season is not over yet and we might still receive good downpours until the end of March. The average maximum temperature for the month was 31.5 °C and we had 16 mm of rain.


Tsalalas on EP Airstrip. Picture by Louis Liversage

Elephant:
We’ve had plenty of elephants moving around this month. If you take the time to observe the different members in the herd you will notice that each one has its own personality. Some of them will remain at the back of the herd - being the silent/ following type. Others might take on the roll of the herd’s “clown”, so to speak. Some are natural leaders. We have come to notice that there are a lot of small herds of only four or five elephants lately. Sometimes you will see that the odd female has the need to be a leader and not being keen to wait years for her turn, she will then wait until she has two or three youngsters and then pull out from the herd. She won’t go completely solo but will shadow a herd or two, just until she gets enough confidence to be on her own, with her own herd. It has also happened on occasion that a matriarch might make a fatal mistake resulting in possible deaths in the herd. This will also cause females to split from their existing herds, going on their own with their offspring.

Rhino:
We didn’t see Londoz very often this month, as the females who’s company he likes so much are very shy and don’t like feeding in the open areas. They rather favour the cover of dense bush. There seems to be a threat on the horizon for Londoz, because we saw a very big unknown male drinking water at Big Dam and then marking right in Londoz’s territory. Shorthorn had a stand off with an unknown male as well. From what we could see it seemed as if he was the winner and came off with only a few scratches and we haven’t seen that male again. But it is still too soon to say if Shorthorn scared him off completely as he might just be hiding out until he feels ready for round two. Utah didn’t have any problems with unknown males and is still going on with his day to day scent marking. I have to mention that he is the only rhino in our traversing area spending hours under a sausage tree, eating as much as he can. It looks really funny – like he is puffing away on a rhino sized Cuban cigar.

Buffalo:
We had a lot of buffalo around this month – breeding herds as well as dagga boys. There is a small water hole with lots of shade to the south of us and this seems to be an ideal resting place for them. Identifying the difference between male and female is quite easy: females are relatively smaller than the males and not quite as stocky. The other difference is that females have smaller, thinner horns and the males have very wide and high horns. The boss (area between the horns) is also a lot bigger. When a buffalo is born one can already see two bold spots on the head where the horns will be growing out. It takes only a few days before the horns break through and the buffalo should have a full set of horns by the age of four years old. As the buffalo starts ageing you will see the tips of the horns becoming brittle and brake down.


Mafufenjane on a Warthog kill. Picture by Louis Liversage

Lion:
Wow!! There were some excellent lion sightings this month. We had the Styx pride and Tsalala’s on kills. This made for excellent lions sightings because once lions make a large kill they will stay with the carcass until there is no meat left. Sometimes this means that we would have lions in the same spot for three days. After consuming such a large meal, mobility is also zero. All the prides are doing well except for the Styx pride – they had a fight with a pride in Kruger Park and the small male seems to be missing. This could mean that he just got chased far from the pride and might take a few days to find them again, although it is quite dangerous for a young male all alone in the bush. One would think that lions would look after their own kind, but out in the bush it’s not always that easy. Other lions will kill him as he might be a future threat. Eliminating him while he is still smaller and therefore weaker will prevent the threat from becoming a bigger problem later on. It would be great if the Styx pride could get more cubs some time soon to boost the pride’s size. The Tsalala’s are doing very well and are making kills on a regular basis. All the cubs are nice and plump. Now that the cubs are nearly ten months old the females don’t seem to be as highly strung as when the cubs where two months old. The Sandy patch female and her cub are unfortunately not doing very well. She does make kills now and again but not often enough to put on weight, leaving her and her cub very skinny. I hope sometime soon I can see her looking like she did two years ago - she was one of the biggest females I’ve ever seen. We received news that there is only four Mapogo’s left, but that is just word of mouth. I will believe it only once I see it with my own eyes.

Leopard:
Salayexe’s male cub has grown so much that he is a bit bigger at the shoulder than his mother. He is going to be a massive male one day. Her female cub is about half the size of her brother. I predict that she will be like her mom and only reach about 35 kg. The male could easily get as heavy as 80 kg. They have started behaving like adults as they have killed the odd mongoose and scrub hare. Salayexe is trying hard to get them to hoist the kills into trees, but they still struggle too much and often loose the meat to hyenas. All I can say is she is a fantastic mother and has done a great job so far. Not a day passed that the cubs have gone hungry. Nyeleti’s three cubs also seem to be doing very well and look quite strong. The two males are relaxed with the cars but the little female needs more time. I think Nyeleti has done an amazing job raising three cubs. We finally got to see Ntima and her two cubs! A buffalo had a still born and the first to discover it was Ntima. She had her cubs, who look about 2 or 3 months old with her, and they had a nice meal. We wish her all the best on this litter. We did not see much of Safari but when we did, she was still looking good. She shocked us when she killed a baby kudu and dragged it up a tree. It was mind blowing to see that she still had it in her as she’s already quite old. Our two males are looking great as well. Old Mafufunyana killed a female warthog right in front of one of our cars.

Special sighting:
The Styx pride got hold of a leopard tortoise and started playing with it. Not only the youngsters, but even the old female joined in the fun. But all ended well - the game came to a end and the tortoise walked away unharmed.

Did you know?
Did you know that lionesses will all try to mate during the same time so that all the cubs are more or less the same age. Then one female can stay behind to look after the cubs when the other females are out hunting.

Well, that’s all from my side, the wild side at Elephant Plains. Hope to see you out on game drive soon!

Wayne Dovey


BBE
"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."
by Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)


Forum

Status: offline

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 2690
Nr. Vancouver, B.C.

Profile Email   PM
   
By: Anonymous: CJ () on Monday, March 08 2010 @ 08:44 PM EST  
Anonymous: CJ

Ann, thanks again for posting the EP Newsletter.

It is wonderful to hear how well Safari is doing especially considering her age.

Hopefully Sandy Patch and Xanseki will fare better as time goes by. I hope this was written before they were seen recently on the Wildebeest kill.





       
   



 All times are EST. The time is now 03:46 PM.
Normal Topic Normal Topic
Locked Topic Locked Topic
Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
New Post New Post
Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
View Anonymous Posts 
Able to Post 
HTML Allowed 
Censored Content 

?

Please Donate

Please Donate!

Current & Ongoing Promotions

 

 

 

 

My Account





Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?