Tales from Namibia..

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February 22nd 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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Been in Namibia for over a week now and this is the first chance I've had to get on the internet..

Not really sure where to start with the stories.. I arrived last Thursday to possibly the worst thunder and lightening storm I have ever seen and it continued to rain for the next few days, eventually got some sun on the weekend.. and got burnt.

I did my first two days on the Wildlife side of the programme which involved walking the big baboons who lke to have a ride on your shoulder and pee down your neck, feeding all the animals including the big carnivores that there are at N/a a'n Ku Se, I think it's 5 lions, 2 leopards, 10 cheaters and 2 wild dogs. Food prep includes cutting up lots og veggies but also cutting up the horse meat for the carnivores which is a less than pleasant experience..
On Monday I started the Research side, which is why I came, the main aim is to protect large carnivores, especially cheaters, who are targeted by farmers when they go for their crops. Often they simply get shot, what we do is identify the problem animals, those that are killing farmers livestock, catching them in a capture cage and transporting them down to NamibRand (about 700km away) to release them. The problem is, some farmers get carried away and, like last week, catch cheaters unnecessarily. We released the young male in a similar area on Thursday as it is obviously quite stressful for them to be taken aay from their homeranges and fellow cheaters and we don't do it unnecessarily, unless the cheater is at risk of being shot by a farmer for killing his livestock.
Next week a group of us are going down to NamibRand to release a problem leopard. Before they are released they are fitted with a radar collar so we can keep track of their progress and check they are not travelling back up north to where they came from.

Our days on research consist of checking box traps in the morning to see if we have caught our problem cheaters, checking for tracks to work out what predators we have in the area, game counts, learning about different species and preparing the capture cages, transportation cages and holding cages for the predators ready for release. It's all pretty exciting.

Enough for now but I will try and update soon.

Love to everyone xxx


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