: as you are all so kind to read and comment
After a quick meal, we changed into something that would cover us up( in case of mozzies). We waited …Sandra arrived and we piled into the back of her car.
Off we went down roads we didn’t know and normally wouldn’t be allowed down. We passed buildings we didn’t realise were there, a huge recycling plant a massive laundry, lots of administration buildings and other places.
We were going to try and trap feral cats.
Quite a long while ago rangers were allowed to keep pets, and several had cats. When the rangers were out in the bush some cats (left to fend for themselves) went feral..
This Project funded by a UK wildlife association (which seemed very apt) was to find out if feral cats had mated with the African Wildcat and weakened the bloodline .
So traps would be set in ever widening circles from the staff village area, and DNA taken if any were caught.
By this time it was beginning to get dark link
We had 10 traps to set in various points along the way.
The cages had been put out earlier by Sandra’s husband Llewellyn. Each cage was sprayed with male or female cat’s urine and had to be baited.
My SO volunteered to do the smelly bit. I used the cybertracker to record all the details.
A cybertracker is a handheld computer used by rangers etc to record details about the park and is programmed according to the task. As English isn’t always a ranger’s first language or maybe they can’t read well, it can be programmed with small icons to depict animals i.e, spoor, and leaves, trees, maps etc
This one was programmed with
1. Number of the cage
3. Male or Female urine
4. baited yes/no
Of course I had to ask the question how to depict male or female urine
( a little loo with a man or woman stood by it)
Sandra found the first trap and hopped out of the car after putting the tailgate down, she opened a plastic bag full of the most rotten chicken you could imagine.
Each piece had to be broken open and a crushed up sedative inserted, as it was more than likely a Genet or a Civet might enter the cage, and panic and hurt themselves, so a sedative would keep them calm until release link
the cage was opened carefully and set link
Then the meat was carefully put in using long handled tongs behind a metal plate Which the animal had to step on ..making the door snap shut behind them. link
We were then taken back “home” Sandra telling us she would pick us up later to see if we had caught anything.We waited chatting about the evenings "work" and Sandra and Llewellyn's dedication to their careers.