The last few days we’ve released a variety of animals from the box traps. One particularly belligerent male warthog refused to leave the trap, trying to punish Vera who was on top of the trap setting him free. We also had a reluctant porcupine in the trap at Frankposten…he made himself rather comfortable in the box and refused to come out. Finally the team left him alone to sort out his own departure.
Waterhole counts reveal large numbers of warthogs, as Claire said, “There is quite a lot of activity in upper warthog-ville today.” (The team counted 24!). Other teams captured on film a family of giraffes coming to drink in their awkward, long-legged way, and at one point an aardvark drinking at the water hole (sorry Joe).
Also in the past days the elephants have been extremely cooperative, taking their baths and playing at the waterholes (Frankposten and Boma) during our observation periods, making for some great photographs. Speaking of elephants, Team 1: do you remember how we thought that the elephants were nestled in at the north end of the farm? Well, look what we found on the camera trap at base camp!!! This was taken on the night before your departure. All missed the tracks that day even though we were standing right there for our group picture!
And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, we have had several carnivores make appearances on the camera traps. We’ve seen a brown hyaena in the pictures from the JM South (or hole-in-the-fence) camera trap as well as another leopard, and this leopard was wearing a collar. Looking at the date of the picture (the same day we had the other leopard in the trap) and ID pictures, Vera realized that this is the leopard that the Biosphere teams caught and collared last year. That makes two collared leopards now on Okambara, and a total of three using the same hole in the fence. Exciting!