Sunday, 28 February 2016

Mass Impala Capture.

A very frequent occurrence we have here is Mass Game Captures. Conducted with a helicopter, bomas, a few very talented pilots and a large ground crew!
The boma setup takes up to a day of blood and sweat to construct. Normally the location selected is quite dense but as open as possible. The boma is erected in a funnel shape moving the animals downward towards the loading ramp and the truck in which they will be transported in. The pilot is out scanning the area for the closest herd, in this case it was Impala(Aepyceros Melampus). The pilots working these machines are absolutely amazing, this is a very scarce set of skills. A lot of people can fly a helicopter and obtain their pilots license but this is sheer, raw passion and a love for aviation and wildlife combined. The level of skill that these pilots are at are just amazing and not enough credit is given. 
Ground to air radios are used for communication from the pilot to the one in charge on the ground. Once the herd of animals are in the boma the back curtain is closed, from there they are moved forward into 3 sections. Once they enter a section the curtain at the back of the herd is closed, preventing them from running back and forth causing unnecessary distress for the animals. As they enter the last section which is the smallest, the loading process will start. Once the animals are in the truck they are given a sedative to calm them down for the truck ride. Normal drugs for this will be Haloperidol and Azaperone.

For the love of African and her amazing Wildlife.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Dangers Of Endurance Riding.

As Endurance Rides are part of our program at Selati Horseback Safaris, I would like to share the following story.

I attended a Endurance ride with a friend on 19 - 20 Feb 2016. She asked me if I would like to ride one of her mares, and without even hesitating I said yes. Always fun traveling together to the rides as it is very social. Arrived on friday offloaded the horses and got them settled in. The afternoon around 17:00pm it was time for the pre-vet checks. The horses where pumped up and ready to go as her mare  got very busy, such a go getter! It took two different Vets to evaluate her. After that we took them back to their paddocks and set them in for the night. We where nervous and anxious for the following morning. It was a early start, we got up at 03:00am and went to the ride base at 04:00am. Anxiously waiting to saddle up the horses and to start the race. Our start time was 06:00am. So I took the mare and started saddling her. As I pulled the bridle over her head she jump up high on her back legs. Settling down I got it on, second step was the saddle. The saddle was on her back, as I tightened the girth she jumped up again and as instinct I ran a few meters forward to get out of the way. As I was running I heard a loud noise, it sounded like a gun shot. As I turned around there she was on the ground, the only life that was left was the last remaining kicks in her back legs. I ran as fast as I could not being able to contain my tears to call a Vet.
Ultimately when she jumped up she fell backwards on her head and she was dead on impact. The only thing we could do was cover her up and wait for someone to remove her. It was a very distroughtful scene and could never in our wildest dreams imagine that something like this would happen.
RIP beautiful Mekadesh Mikayla.

Saving A Species.

A few months ago this little White Rhino calf was abandoned by her mother just a few days after giving birth. Luckily this story has no ''poaching'' in it. She is thriving well with her care taker and companion friend the sheep. As tiny as they are one can never think that they could grow into such massive and intelligent creatures. Sometimes it's hard to reintroduce hand raised animals back into a herd as they can become habituated to the ''people'' taking care of it, which is understandable considering the age of this little calf. As you can see she loves the attention.
But when there is a will there is a way and I am sure this little girl will someday be reintroduced to a herd suitable for her  needs.