Jun 26, 2008

A Leopard Story

One month ago we caught and collared a leopard male in the Balule Nature Reserve. Leopards are collared to get more data on the movements and sizes of the leopard's territory which gives us a good idea of the leopard numbers in our area.
Catching leopards is not an easy job. It took us about a year to catch and collar this particular leopard. He is a clever leopard and refused to go into our traps.
The kind of collar we put on the leopard is a GPS(global positioning system) collar. The collar takes up to 5 readings a day which will provide us with information on the movements of this leopard.
More photos here... and have a look at our YouTube Channel...
Check back soon for more info on the movements of this leopard and for more news on Floppy the baby rhino.

Jun 19, 2008

Reluctant to move

Floppy is doing very well here at Moholoholo. He is enjoying all the attention from all the students looking after him. He still has a bandage around his head protecting his ears while they heal up. The ears are healing beautifully, although he will never have full earlobes again, the remaining halves will have to do. His hearing will never be as it should be but it will be sufficient for him to get on with life.

At the moment we are trying to get him out of the clinic so that he can get some sunlight and walk around a bit. But he refuses to take a step outside. He will come all the way to the door of the clinic and survey the going-on’s outside, but refuses blatantly to take one step outside. We don’t want to force him to go outside because that may put too much stress on him and that would not be good. For the moment then we will be patient and let him emerge at his own pace.

He has put on a lot of weight, looking more like a rhino now. He has a lot more energy and he is starting to complain about his feeding times…Always wanting it to be earlier than it should be. Sometimes he wants his food a whole 30 minutes early.
He wanders from room to room looking for the responsible person that’s supposed to feed him, begging any passers by to feed him. But it is for his own good that we have to feed him at certain times, if we feed just randomly he will definitely get a upset stomach…

Keep you posted…

Corrie van Wyk

Jun 17, 2008

Extremely Frustrated!

That is how Floppy, the little white rhino calf must feel after his ears were , in all likelyhood, torn off by some jackal. Floppy is being taken care of here at Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitaion Center. The manager of the center, Mr Brian Jones, said that Floppy has bandages around his head and has trouble hearing.
Floppy is three weeks old. Floppy was found abandoned on the Karongwe Game Farm two weeks ago by nature conservation students. Floppy was probably rejected by his mother and then left alone, attacked my some jackal which tore off his ears. Floppy was dehydrated and in a bad condition when he was found and brought to Moholoholo.
Students at Moholoholo take turns spending the night with Floppy so that he won't feel alone. Little rhinos need their mothers and without any contact would be severely traumatized. Floppy is now weighing 60kg and is given 1.5 liters of milk every few hours.
It is dificult to say at this point in time if Floppy will ever be rehabilitated to go and live with other rhinos again. Once wild animals have been taken care of for such a long time, they lose their fear of people and aren't used to other wild rhinos.
Floppy will be able to hear again once his bandages are removed but unfortunately he doesn't have any earflaps anymore. Floppy will stay at Moholoholo until he is six or nine months old. We will keep you posted on Floppy's recovery.
You can see more photos of Floppy here...