Causing a spate of wild excitement the Safari Team (briefly) acquired a mascot this week! We discovered a very lost Little Free-Tail Bat (Tadarida Chaerephon pumilus) sitting on the office step one morning! These chaps are pretty successful as they are open air foragers and often specialise in catching moths and other high-flying insects. They are one of few animals to actively thrive around human influence. Lights around human settlements tend to attract insects, which is basically a banquet for these wonderful creatures!
We are not sure what caused Basil (as we have named him) to end up on our office step but he certainly seemed cold and confused when we found him. A quick case of wrapping him in a warming cloth and popping him (cloth and all) in the shelter of a nearby tree set him swiftly to rights. By the time of our second check up on him he had headed back on his merry way but we hope he didn’t travel too far and will continue to enjoy the insects attracted to the office at night!
Basil moments after his rescue relaxing on his cloth to warm up © Sophie Barrett
Our Office Team have been snapping on rubber gloves once more and ruthlessly bringing order to chaos (Also-Known-As slightly haphazard storage practices) with an ever strict eye on hygiene! Courage seems to be training for a modelling position and we suspect might become a poster boy for single use gloves before the year is out. He is certainly getting some great practice in at the moment and you can see the results for yourselves!
These days it seems like our adrenaline is always being provided by the lions and this week was no different. Whilst we were focused on bush clearing and other training this week we were treated to some stunning serenades as the challengers reappeared and roared their invitation to duel and the resident males declared their fury at the intrusion – especially as Zamula has been wooing one of the females in the Garonga pride for most of the last week!
In the bush it isn’t only seeing an animal that can start the adrenaline pumping. Just as we jumped out of the vehicle to start our bush clearing on Wednesday we were treated to a track and sign buffet! Sometime within the last hour, three adult male lions had been running straight down the road! Jaff is our master tracker (having achieved the fabled 100% in the assessments) and demonstrated how we could tell how many lions had moved through and, using the placement of their tracks, how we could tell how fast they were moving; we even dissected which track was left by which specific foot of each lion.
Footprints in the sand with my hand to show off their impressive size! Beautiful imprints of the male lion tracks, having them all bunched so closely together reveals that all three males were running here! So much fun reading the newspaper of the bush! © Sophie Barrett
Until next week – stay safe and keep your safari dreams alive!
P.S: If you’re looking for regular lockdown reading, The Garonga Diaries has you covered weekly.