Wildlife being darted and moved!...What's going on?...


From a recent visit to the "hippo pool" in the Crocodile River bordering Marloth Park.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Frank and the Mrs. show up every night at dusk in this little garden area where we give them seeds.  Then, they take off for the bush to make "their noise," a loud earsplitting call that can last several minutes.
It’s Friday morning, hot, humid and dusty.  Tom’s streaming the Minnesota Vikings football game on NFL GamePass while I’m preparing today's post offline. 
Frank and the Mrs. on the move to get to the little garden area where we give them seeds each night.  They are always together.
The Wi-Fi signal is too weak with all the tourists in the park for him to stream the game while I’m also online.  No matter.  I’m sitting here watching the game with him while multitasking, arranging photos and preparing the text on Word’s offline blog posting page.

Today is a low key day with little to do other than the matters on hand.  No chopping and dicing today.  Tonight we have a reservation for dinner at Jabula which will surely be yet another enjoyable evening. \
As we mentioned in yesterday's post found here, sometimes just watching and waiting (patience and perseverance) produces great results.  See below the result of doing so when we spotted this giraffe sitting in the bush.
Right now and over the past weeks the “visitors” to our garden are limited; a few bushbucks, lots of helmeted guinea fowl; with an occasional mongoose or two running through the garden.  We can’t wait to see kudus, zebra and warthogs and more during the daylight hours but that won’t be happening for a few more weeks when the school holiday is over.
We’re happy the holiday ends before our friend Lois and Tom arrive on October 9th.  It would be quite a disappointment for them to come all this way to see few if any wildlife in our garden during the days.  The evenings are better.  Last night, Wildebeest Willie, Tusker and Ms. Tusker (mating pair, it seems), Siegfried and Roy (male warthog buddies), Mom and Baby Bushbuck, Mr. Duiker and Frank and the Mrs. made lengthy appearances, thrilled with less competition for food.  They all got along well.
After watching this seated giraffe for quite some time, a monstrous dad, mom and baby appeared.  Please look carefully to spot the baby.  Could the giraffe seated be there young from last season's birth?
The previous night Siegfried got into a fracas with Tusker resulting in such loud warthog squeals that Martha came running out from her little house, wondering if everything was OK.  A short time later they returned, none the worse for the wear after the noisy fight. 
It’s easy to see how warthogs end up with holes in their faces when they fight for dominance with such vigor; usually over food and “women.”  Aren't those the same reasons for starting wars?
After watching further this family of five wandered off together into the bush.
In a local news article, we read that a number of animals are being darted and moved into Lionspruit, a game reserve within a game reserve, located right here in Marloth Park.  Lionspruit is the area where we’ve participated in braais, hosted by Louise and Danie, at Frikkie’s Dam. 
It's amazing to see how quickly the ostrich chicks are growing.
There are two lions in Lionspruit, Dezi and Fluffy (female and male) who will be happy to see the influx of more possible food for them.  There are adequate food sources for them in Lionspruit but this choice made by locals rangers and veterinarians who will oversee the operation, will add to their fodder.

This option, although daunting, is better than culling when food sources in Marloth Park are dwindling over the years with more and more natural habitat being overrun by the building of bush homes.  Many owners, in defiance of the rules of the municipality, grow grass and plant invasive alien plants which they ultimately enclose in fences. 
They seem to enjoy hanging out with their siblings but once grown they'll be off on their own to start their own families.
This severely reduces the vegetation coverage from which animals can graze.  We often wonder what the status of Marloth Park will be in 10 to 20 years.  This reality is relevant all over the world when natural habitat is destroyed by human intervention.  It’s a sad situation as we see more and more wildlife becoming extinct.
Apparently, 10 kudus, five zebras, five wildebeest and two giraffes will be relocated, of course keeping the dependent youngsters intact with their parents.  See the information we read on Facebook concerning the move.
Mom and Dad keep a watchful eye to ensure the safety of their chicks.
"The Marloth Wildlife Fund has been in contact with Wildlife Veterinary Services who have proposed a wonderful opportunity to move some of the excess game from Marloth Park to Lionspruit as part of their veterinary training courses. Qualified vets will, for the period of a week, commencing on Monday 1 October, be available to dart and move animals free of charge.
 As no firearms are permitted to be used in Marloth Park, this is an ideal solution to the excess population of wildlife in Marloth Park which are devastating the natural environment.

The population of animals in Lionspruit is at an all time low, and the environment can accommodate more animals. The gene pool of different species is very low in Lionspruit, which, if more animals are not introduced could result in inter breeding and the mutations that result will cause deformities, brain damage etc.
The Marloth Wildlife Fund is concerned about the welfare of the animals, and wants to ensure that they live as natural an existence as possible, have the correct nutrition and build up a healthy population.
This initiative has been approved by the Municipality and we have received the full support of MPPOA, MPRA and the Honorary Rangers.
We appeal to property owners and members of the public not to interfere with the Vets who will be undertaking this task in the coming week."
 
We wonder if any of those being moved are part of the many that visit us regularly.  We’ll have no way of knowing if they’ve been moved, injured or passed away from other causes.  But, I assure you, we’ll be waiting to see Wildebeest Willie in the garden, hoping he’s not in the lot that is going to be moved.

More beautiful impalas as mentioned in yesterday's post here.
Many homeowners are upset by this decision but culling is surely a less appealing option.  At least those who are moved have a chance of a good remaining life if they can avoid being captured by Dezi or Fluffy. 
As mentioned above there are dwindling numbers of animals in Lionspruit. We’ll be paying close attention as to the results of darting and moving the wildlife and subsequently the long-term residual effect.
That's it for today, folks.  Have a fantastic day!
                    ___________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, September 28, 2017:

Long view of the altar at San Rafael in Atenas, Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

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