Crime in Marloth Park...Sad to hear there's "trouble in Paradise"...

This morning, we were greeted by four zebras.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
An adorable male bushbuck, a regular visitor, stopped by this morning.
Last night was my first social outing since the coronary bypass surgery four weeks ago.  We had a lovely dinner and evening at Lynne and Mick's bush home with Kathy, Don, Linda, and Ken. It felt good to get out and we managed to stay until the others decided to call it a night. 

The only discomfort I experienced was my legs which I propped up on our chill box near me at the table. The ride on the bumpy dirt road wasn't too bad especially since I had a soft pillow to hold close to my chest as we encountered one pothole after another.
They anxiously await pellets but then fight with one another over them.
I'd hoped to take photos but when we arrived it was dark and everyone was already engaged in lively conversation.  Kathy, Don, Linda, and Ken had arrived earlier in the day from a five-day raptor course in Kruger National Park and we all listened intently to their story and adventure.  I didn't feel like interrupting the flow of the conversation to take photos.  That's how it goes sometimes.

Lynne and Mick are the most avid "birders" we've met and it was fun to hear all of them gushing over the wide array of raptors there are in South Africa.  This truly is a wildlife haven, one of the best in the world. 
A handsome male bushbuck by the cement pond.
Our love of wildlife is a commonality we all share and there's never a moment's silence when we all get together and share our stories of various sightings among many other topics of conversation. Each day brings new surprises and sightings for each of us.

For many of us, living in Marloth Park, we often mistake the serene beauty of the park for being a remote and safe location.  But beauty and reverence for wildlife have nothing to do with the unpredictability of humans who perpetrate crimes with little to no regard for human life.
With ample vegetation after many days and nights of soaking rain, the zebras still love pellets.
Each week stats are posted on the Facebook page, entitled "Marloth Park...Friends of Marloth Park" by Nadine, the head of CPF (Community Police Forum).  It was startling to read the post making become more diligent than ever.  Please read the post below:

"Good evening everyone. Apologies for not posting stats last week as I did not attend Polsec meeting as I was in Nelspruit.
Stats from 25 February to 10 March 2019
Raasblaar - Malicious damage by tenants, they were evicted.

Klipspringer - Burglary - TV, Alarm not set.

Swartwitpens - Burglary - TV,
Sekelbos - Murder due to a domestic dispute. Cannot give any more info. Current Serious case 1. Arrest made. Thank you to Field and Securicon Paramedics as well as Saps for all your assistance. To Securicon for your quick response to your client. Much appreciated. The witness and family thank you for all you did to assist.
We also had a fire on the 3rd of March. As there were no injuries or death. Saps do not open the case due to it being Natural Causes. (Lighting)
Burglary on Kudu shed broken into. Goods recovered by Field Security. (Well done)
We would like to warn owners to please lock your possessions away. Join a security company and set your alarm when you are not home. Set your alarm at night when you go to bed.
More cases have been reported to Saps on Sunday but no case numbers as yet.
We sadly had a person pass away from a possible heart attack in Spinnekop on Wednesday. Again we thank Field and Securicon Paramedics for responding so quickly and to Graeme Altenkirk for applying CPR until Paramedics arrived.
To the families that tragically lost loved ones, on behalf of the whole community of Marloth, we are so sorry for your loss and our Sincere Condolences to you.
Many other call outs came over the past week for CPF and Law Enforcement. We were kept very busy with fights, domestic violence, theft by staff. Thank you, team, for the hours you spent running around all times of day and night.
Have a good week all. Be vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to your security."

Soon, we'll be facing yet another holiday period in South Africa beginning on March 18th and ending on April 1st.  It is during these periods that we must be extra diligent in securing our belongings, turning on the alarm system (which we always do) and reporting any suspicious behavior of any tourists or local residents.  

During holiday periods we see fewer animals which have been plentiful these past weeks.  Some, not all, tourists feed the animals, toxic human foods which can be fatal.  Animals digestive systems are unlike humans and foods such as corn, sweets, and chips may cause serious illness or death.  
It's fun to watch them interact.
Plus, speeding on the paved road, Oliphant, is often responsible for killing a dozen or more animals during any holiday season.  Animals are constantly walking or running across the dirt roads as well.  Safe driving in a must.

We often see (as we've mentioned in the past), young children driving cars, trucks and SUV's while sitting on the parent's lap in the driver's seat.  Children's reflexes aren't as quick as an adult and they are not qualified or experienced to be driving which is dangerous to both wildlife and humans alike.

We can only hope and pray this upcoming holiday period will be safe.  As we see from the above report, even non-holiday periods pose risks to residents in many ways.

We thank the volunteers such as Nadine, Patty and other of CPF members who donate their time, gas and efforts to ensure safety in the park, along with the security companies who are fastidious in their response to any incidents.

Have a safe day!


Photo from one year ago today, March 13, 2018:
From Part 2, snake school: When "capturing" the Black Mamba it is imperative to immobilize the head close to the ground and raise the tail.  Tom managed to do this while it was desperately attempting to escape.  The Black Mamba is the fastest snake on the planet.  For more photos, please click here.


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