Friday, 13 September 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF...



The day starts before 6 am, with a couple of mighty bangs on the bedroom window.  The yellow-billed hornbills are hungry and that's their way of making sure we know it. The kudu and impala are already at the house  - waiting for breakfast, as are the bushbuck, birds and dassies. Feeding in earnest has begun, and it's a team effort. At 7.30 am, Head Scout Mafira, Mthabisi and Sean load up the tractor and do the drop offs at 10 different feeding stations throughout the sanctuary.  This takes them about three hours.

The next shift begins at 3.30pm when Rich feeds the warthog and giraffe; Khanye takes care of the kudu, and Big Fight spreads out the contents of six bags at a spot close to the river, which is primarily intended for the eland but is now being enjoyed by an assortment of zebra, impala, wildebeest and baboons.

Meanwhile, I drive down to where the gemsbok are waiting, and having checked that the zebra aren't planning an ambush, leave their food on piles of cut grass, and then drive away quickly as they won't come in if we are close.

4 pm sees me at the kitchen giving Ted (yellow-spot dassie) his bowl of apple on my lap, feeding mealworms to the elephant shrews, and filling the drums outside our dining room window for the kudu - who are insatiable.  By this time, the impala have come in again - and I ferry buckets of food to both them and the kudu until late at night.

Rich drops off game blocks at different places - just to make sure that everyone is getting something, and has spent hours trying to induce our infuriating sable to come into feed.  They are just as hungry as everyone else, but for some reason, show no interest in anything we offer them - even lucerne.  They have never been fed before, so - we hope - it is only a matter of time.  No new photos this time, but when Rich stops running, he'll start taking them again!

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