Monday, 26 June 2017

Eventful Hyena Hunt.

Well, I am sitting in bed trying to find the correct words to describe what my day was like yesterday. And whilst I am busy procrastinating, the shallow vibrations of Hyena calls eco through the bush.
Ahh home is the best place to be.

In this present time it is my birthday in South-Africa and I am a solid 25 years of age and I literally don't know where the time has gone.
Yesterday after getting everything done for the arrival of the next group of Veterinary students, I decided in the spur of the moment to accompany my husband and fellow clients to a reserve bordering Kruger National Park. This place holds a very dear place in our hearts and I was very excited to see this beautiful place again.
The wilderness is unsurpassed. everything is left untouched and extremely wild. Lions, Elephants, Hyenas all breaking through the fence and traveling between Kruger National Park and all of these bordering reserves. That is why the aura of the place screams wilderness like you have never experienced before.

On our arrival we immediately started looking for bait, just in case we needed a plan B for the Hyena hunt.
As daylight simmers down we needed to get a move on with the bait and luckily they shot a Dyker and the nerves where a little less tense.
Hyena hunting is extremely difficult as they are smart creatures. The reason for hunting the Hyena is quite simple, over population and over destruction of wildlife numbers on this reserve.

As dusk settles in they Hyenas did not fail to let us know that they where active, calling one and other from one end of the reserve to the other. The noise piercing through your veins!
We settled in and got set up in an old salt shed, where they would salt the skins before sending them to the taxidermy. Nevertheless that the lion pride had a keen sense of breaking and entering the salt shed to get to the skins. So we had to keep an extra eye out for them as well.
We sat in the shed for about four hours before hearing complete chaos! I t sounded a like a mad fading frenzy, the Hyenas made a kill on the other side of the river bed not too far from us and we decided to drive there. In the hopes of getting onto their trail, in the pitch black darkness of the night.

As we approached the war zone we stopped and listened to the helluva ruckus that they made, and I tell you it was absolutely breathtaking to be in the midst of chaos with nothing but pure and raw nature.

My husband took the two hunters and tracker with him as they pursued them on foot. Matt and I stayed at the vehicle and kept an eye out for any other dangers. We sat in completer darkness with only the stars to brighten up our paths, how beautiful this sight was. Miles and miles of breathtaking starlight

We sat for a while staring into the thicket of the brush until we could not see them anymore, only glimpses here and there of his green light flash light until suddenly a shot was fired, immediately knowing it was a clean miss. It wasn't until then that we realised that this was going to be a long night. Until we herd the cracking and breaking of branches and the noise came straight for us. Grabbing the torch, not hesitating for one second that this  is a Hyena  coming to size us up and as soon as we shone the light on him he took of behind us.
Not long after that we the rest of the hunting party returned with a freshly caught nyla bull that the Hyenas devoured! The perfect piece of bait, exactly what we needed to get the upper hand.

We dragged the carcass behind the truck to an open field and tied that what was left to a tree, when the ruckus of the Hyenas feeding started again. Immediately following the noise again, but this time it was not as easy. They where on to them and just kept on running away. Following their defeat the hunters retreated, or not completely.. Taking the road to the open field again we could see that the Hyenas too the bait and followed the scent, like the expert scavengers they are. Lighting the spotlight into the dense brush we could see a few pair of yellow reflected eyes.

It was only a few seconds until another shot was fired and it was a straight hit.
Very delighted with the trophy at 12:00 in the morning, we could load up and head back home.
The amount of Hyena on this property is terrifying. There where two packs which at least had thirty animals each.

We headed home wards around 01:00 in the morning. Encountering a rough bull hippo on the main road next to some alfalfa fields. Overshadowed in puncture wounds from older bulls, trying to finds his place in the animal kingdoms hierarchy. He will stay on the bottom of the hierarchy until he matures and grows into an mature, adult hippopotamus bull that can defend his territory no questions asked. But for now he needs to keep a low profile and out of mature bull's territories.

What an eventful night.
Take Care

Monday, 19 June 2017

All in a Days Work.

We are always hustling about, and then you get those extra busy days like this one was.
We had to move quite a bunch of auction animals for my father in law as the auction is drawing near.
We darted six Sable Antelope cows, all went smooth and uninterrupted. Everybody operated like a well oiled machine in the field.
When we finished up with the cows we moved along to this one bull, still very young and showing immense amount of potential.
We waited for our transportation crew for a few minutes and whilst sitting there I always like to take a closer look at the tremendous animals. His beautifully curved shaped horns are symmetrical to one and other, they have thick basis almost too thick. It is like the horns of an antelope tell a story about their ancestors. Big bodied and muscular animals with a fighting spirit.

As we reversed the drug and the Sable Antelope was already introduced to his new breeding herd he gently tilted over his head and gracefully scratched his back with those spear like horns.
We should always know who the real boss is.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Golden Wildebeest that Outshine the Sun.

I have said it before and I will say it many more times to come, "I love working with Wildlife!"
I landed my dream job of Wildlife Veterinary Assistant with the Veterinarian we run our Volunteer program with.
Animals are substantial, they give a certain purpose to life. Working with them always leaves me in awe of how bountifully God has blessed our lives and I wish that this beauty never fades.

The picture below shows me with two Golden Wildebeest cows that we recently sedated for relocation. They are a color variant of the common Blue Wildebeest that we have. Their coats shine with a golden ember color, if the whole herd stand together they outshine the sun.
They are hands down one of my favorite animals.

The first Golden Wildebeest bull was captured in the 1990's on a game farm called Swinburne, by Alec Rough in the Limpopo Valley. (We are from the Limpopo Valley)
The majority of Golden Wildebeest originate from this area. Pioneer breeders firstly referred to them as Red or Yellow Wildebeest.

Take Care!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

More Endurance Riding Pictures.

I am truly mesmerized by the passion our South-African people have for this sport. It brings a sense of togetherness, people that have horses in common actually shares lives. It is a topic that can be showered upon, just because of the happiness these animals bring into our lives.
The are able to carry you over great distances and the give their absolute all for you. We just need to take care of them and prepare them well to carry us the distance.
I will forever be in awe.

So here I have a few pictures of the venue where it was held called Sondela Nature Reserve, a pristine setting with loads of wildlife.

This is the vet check area. These pictures where taken on the friday night just before the race.

A picturesque sunset setting our eyes ablaze!

Tacking off after the fist leg of 31km.

Taking my horses pulse before going to the vet check. The pulse should be 64 beat per minute or less.
I always used a stethoscope, I feel it is more effective and by doing so I started to learn my horses' pulse whether she is fit or unfit. To me it is just more accurate. 

Slowly walking her towards the vet check area.

Trotting out for the veterinarian. They need to make 100% sure that your horse is fit to complete the race.

Mekadesh Zunata coming back from vet check number one with more fire!

Checking out all the other horses.

Coming back from our second leg.
She is such an amazing ride.

Take Care.