CyberDiary – 4 August 2011

Mashatu Game Reserve - Elephant

Elephant by Andrei Snyman

General Game Viewing

Although the bush is heading into the late stages of the dry season, general game viewing is still spectacular. Large herds of elephant have been seen congregating along the remaining waterholes in the dry riverbeds, while impala and kudu are making the most of the fruit dropped by baboons feeding in the large Mashatu trees. You could almost say that game viewing has improved as a result of the bush becoming more sparse and open.

One very special site sighting we enjoyed recently was that of an albino porcupine. We now believe there to be at least two of these albinos on Mashatu. The sighting took place on the opposite end of the reserve, so it’s highly unlikely that its the same individual we sometimes see loitering around Main Camp.

Mashatu Game Reserve - Porcupine

Mashatu Game Reserve - Albino porcupine

Mashatu Research helping school kids

During the last week of July, 51 grade sevens learners (yes 51!) descended on a nearby volunteer project, situated inside the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. As part of their conservation orientated trip I was approached and asked if Mashatu would be prepared to talks to the kids about our Mashatu Research Projects. I hesitantly agreed (there were 51 of them after all!, but I needn’t have worried. It turned out to be a huge success, with the kids literally lapping up the lecture on carnivores. I spoke about large carnivore dentition, and showed them skulls of lions, leopards and cheetah, as well as the general tools of the trade required for doing research on cats, such as radio telemetry, camera traps and GPS collars. Camera traps and baits were setup so they could see firsthand what we do. We also tracked the relevant collared lions and leopards in the area. All in all a huge success. At least now I know I have a career in teaching to fall back on should I ever grow tired of the bush.

Mashatu Game Reserve - School visit

Andrei Snyman talking to the learners

Visit our Facebook and Flikr albums to see more photos.

See you out there,

Andrei

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is still in it’s infancy stages so the Sightings maps, Predator maps and CyberDiary Archives aren’t up and running just yet. The Pete’s Pond is live however, so make sure to wander over there and see what the animals are up to.



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