We’ve had a little rain, which is so badly needed and completely unexpected that we all went outside and danced in it. I’m not sure if the pictures do it justice, but I took a picture just to prove to the prior teams that it happened. Valerie took a “Rhinos and Rainbows” picture while still out in the field.
Friday was vehicle game count and the overall numbers were quite low. Perhaps that was due to the rain the night before.
Team 7 got a real “day off” on Saturday; the first Saturday in a few groups where we did not catch a predator in a trap. The team, however, was super keen on data entry, so they set up shop for the entire morning.
Sunday we moved the Lodge East trap to where camera trap 15 was located (for the previous volunteers that is behind the lodge up in the mountains—at the junction of the roads to Olifantposten and Kuduposten). Evidently it was here that Team 7 changed my nickname for Vera (Madam Scientist) to their own (Mad Scientist), purportedly for being very focused in the placement and setup of the box trap.
Like Vera’s new jewelry? (She was testing its transmitting capabilities.)
Sunday’s team also saw our first aardwolf. Never heard of one? They hadn’t either—they just knew it was an unusual sighting. What is an aardwolf? Picture a miniature striped hyaena with a long mane and bushy tail. They feed almost exclusively on harvester termites, and are one of the most specialized carnivores. They are solitary, nocturnal, and are thought to locate the termites more by hearing than by smell. Vera was delighted and now we’re off to set another camera trap at the hole where the team first saw it.