The first day of October started well with us receiving our first summer’s rain and hopefully the start of the fight back against the drought that has had us in its grip for the past year has begun. Although it has provided us with the most amasing sightings and animal behaviour, this month has been no exception and possibly the best month of all, it has come at a cost. Watching the daily struggle of our herbivores, especially the grasers is heartbreaking, but it has shown us the strength and resilience of our wildlife and their unbelievable ability to survive. We have witnessed the effect of the drought but it will have repercussions for years to come and this will be intriguing to watch develop.
As we slipped into spring we said goodbye to our glorious golden red sunrises and sunsets as the dust settled with the first rains but these were quickly replaced by beautiful blue days and golden light reflecting off promising rain clouds. As can be expected our predators took central stage with our Leopards shining bright this month. Our usuals, Rockfig Jnr, Ntombi, Marula, Nyelati, Ntima, and Mondsweni, all made an appearance, but what was nice to see was the number of new Leopard sightings we started to see on a more regular basis, especially on the Eastern side of our property. We have a big male Leopard with both his lower canines at an angle, a younger boy who is fairly relaxed under the light and then an older female with dark set eyes who was actually seen mating with the large male. This would be the second set of mating Leopards as Marula and her boyfriend were also seen earlier on in the month. My personal favourite for this month had to go to Nyeleti, who provided us with many great sightings, one of which we had her, her mom and the new male with the skew teeth all time sharing a large Impala kill.
On the subject of mating, if we were not lucky enough to see Leopards mating we also had Lions mating. On this occasion the boys were being a little promiscuous with a new coalition called the Mapoza Males mating with both the breakaway Ross Females and with the White Lion from the Giraffe Pride. This would indicate that they have brought an end to the Trilogy Males reign in the South and we have not seen them since the arrival of these two males. My highlight on the Lion front has to go to the White Lion hunting and catching a young Buffalo which was then killed by the two Mopaza Males.
With so much food about for our scavengers and hunters, the Hyena Den this month was very hit and miss. This could also be due to the fact that some of the pups are now old enough to join the adults on their expeditions. When the adults were home we once again had privileged glimpses into the intricate lives of a very misconceived animal helping to change people’s perception of them.
As is with this time of year and for the next few months our Wild Dog sightings picked up with four different packs running in our traverse area. The pups have grown substantially and happy to report that the different packs are doing well in raising them. Sticking with Rare and Endangered animals we had ourselves a Cheetah sighting which is always a bonus for our parts.
Another sighting that I have to mention is that of the new born Giraffe that was knocked over and trodden on by a large male Giraffe while trying to investigate the placenta that hung between the mother’s legs. I have include pictures to tell the story but for a detailed written account refer to our Facebook page.
So ends another month of unbelievable sightings and who knows what is in store for us in the upcoming month, but Almero will be sure to keep you posted.