Sunday and Monday was business as usual on Okambara. Our small group finally caught up with all the “everyday” field work and we were able to turn to some of the less physical tasks such as waterhole observation and data entry.
Monday our Tracks & Scats team had a very nice walk up at the lodge and along the northern fence line we found two holes in the fence that we reported to Christian, the farm owner. Not usually something very notable unless the large ungulates can get through them (we did report one of those), what was unusual was that we found two snares imbedded into the holes. These wire snares would be difficult to see in the normal surveys of the fence lines, but on foot and with Ligeus’ keen eye, our team found and disabled them.
Barbara, William and I went out to observe the elephants yesterday and were rewarded with watching them at the Boma waterhole. We followed them on their grazing journey for almost a kilometer and then nearly bumped into two of them demolishing a tree when we rounded a corner. It never ceases to amaze me how stealthily these large animals move through the bush. The cow and her offspring didn’t seem to mind us, and we were able to observe them from quite close.
Monika and Rebekka volunteered for an all-day-out-in-the-field on Tuesday and looked happy and very tired upon their return. They checked all the camera traps in the mountains (#s 11, 13, 1, 3 and 6), then in the afternoon checked the Frankposten box trap and sat at the waterhole there.
While previous groups this year reported very few animals, this group has definitely seen more animals. Monika and Rebekka reported seeing an entire herd of impala at Frankposten, along with 13 waterbuck, heaps of kudu, several giraffes. Two rock monitor lizards even came for a drink. So much for the empty waterholes of August!
Vera and I want to say a hearty THANK YOU to Team 4 for your hard work and get-it-done-without-complaint attitude. It was really great to work alongside of you and we were sad to drive you to the gate this morning. Lucky for us, Rebekka will be with us again on the next group. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you on Team 4 on Sunday!