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 Post subject: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:17 pm 
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We read so much about killings due to speeding - but maybe not all are a result of a speedster; maybe it was a genuine accident. Can we help each other to, in the future, be a little more aware of an animal's movements as we approach it on the roads in our Parks?

Two requests for this topic - it is NOT about speeding or lack or law enforcement; nor about pointing fingers. This is a topic to help us all to be more aware - and wit is most welcome.

I read an article a few days ago in a local travel mag written by someone fairly experienced with travel on the open road in SA and pretty experienced in the behaviour of animals along the roadside when they see a car approaching. He wrote about how 'clever' goats are and that they will seldom run in front of an oncoming vehicle.

What do the animals in our parks do when they see a car approaching? A tortoise will just continue to make his way slowly and diligently across the road. Impala can dart out in front of a car just as one approaches them, so it is a good idea to always pass an impala herd really slowly.

Lets give each other tips from our experiences of the animals behaviour is such situations and perhaps prevent an accident or two in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Location: another national park.. in England
Image
asking for a lift????? (words courtesy of Micetta)
We had to park across the road to stop oncoming cars whose passsengers were looking into the bush for larger sightings.
Tip???..........be aware of the little things

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:26 pm 
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The Chamelon will continue to do his Michael Jackson Moon Walk as it crosses the road in his alien green outfit so please watch the road the Chamelon is going as fast as it can :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:27 pm 
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SNAP Dotty

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:33 pm 
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If you see a chicken, you can be sure that it is going to run across the road in front of your car, it is genetic to all kinds of chickens :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Location: another national park.. in England
holigan wrote:
SNAP Dotty

:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
I know Kudus jump into vehicle headlights - (not in a Park driving at night of course :shock: ), but just driving on SA National roads - often see Kudu warning signs, so beware because they do jump at you..
This is for mites travelling in early hours to get to the Park especially.

JJ

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:21 pm 
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I always scan the road ahead at regular intervals as far as I can see or the road permits. If I see any irregular shapes, I try and remember how far I have to go before I reach it. I then scan to the side for sightings in the bush. When I reach the irregular shape, I will always avoid it even if it looks like a stone or dung, it might just be a small beetle.

It is amazing how quickly one recognizes odd shapes on the road surface, irrespective of size, when one purposefully are on the look-out.

I have avoided many small animals this way. The worst across-the-road-darters are mongoose. It is not the first darter, but the family that inevitably follows, just when you think it is safe to drive on.

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:05 pm 
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Tree squirrels in Kruger and ground squirrels in KTP :evil:

Staying at Shingwedzi, you will notice the speed limit on the tar road along the river leading to the camp is 20 kph.
Last visit, doing less than 20, we had to brake hard just outside the camp gates for a tree squirrel that always wanted to be on the other side of the road. We kept a sharp lookout for him -- and every day he made us brake.
Imagine our sadness, on returning on the third day, to find the little body lying in the road. :cry:
Don't blame the driver -- and he was probably not speeding.
We think the squirrel just played "chicken" once too often :D

During our last visit to KTP we noticed a particularly "dim" ground squirrel making a hole on the road itself. Every time we passed, he would either duck down or shoot out into the river bed. His luck was obviously not going to last -- and so we were not surprised to see that he'd been killed about 3 days later :cry: Sad, but not surprised.


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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 2:02 pm 
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The truth is we really have absolutely no idea what THAT animal will do next.

Some years ago going along a dirt road I had never travelled, we were driving quite slowly because the road surface was very badly corrugated. A large Kudu bull, ran accross the road right in front of the car. Luckily, for him, he was running fast and we were driving slowly.

In a game reserve, animals are hunted by predators and we might be driving along without seeing the same predator that a buck, for example, kight see. Instinct wil kick in and the animal will take immediate flight, right into the path of an oncoming car, because he /she has no idea of what can happen in a collision with a motor car. (They were invented some time after genetic hard coding).

Lions have been known to use cars as cover for stalking prey, but buck have not quite figured out the dangers posed by cars.

Since we are in their domain, I think we aught to be extra vigilant, respect the animals and their home, and drive with extreme caution. You never know when an antelope may hurtle out of a bush trying to escape a hungry lion, leopard or whatever happens to be chasing it. I just hoe that one day, I am there to witness it when it does happen and I get to see a kill taking place. (Yeah, I know, not nice for the buck, but hey, that's nature.) :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Even stationary vehicles have been hit by animals running out of the bush! It is important to accept that it is not always the fault of the driver when an animal/bird is injured or killed.......

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:10 pm 
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I see on the busier roads that the park is cutting the grass back by about a meter on either side.
Should be easier to see an animal before it gets to the road.

Well I think that is what the intention is anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:38 am 
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Hi Mites

Don't drive to close while passing giraffe or zebra when they standing with their backsides towards the vehicle. They often will kick towards the car, especially when they start to run off. A giraffe missed my own car by inches this past visit in LS. :shock: Then we started to check for this behaviour and it was suprising to see how many cars got close to being hit by a kick when passing herds of zebra or giraffe when driving to close to the animals. We also drive very slow when next to river beds. I had few close encounters with animals darting out of them and up the incline next to the road, and then across the road, especially ellies, and for some reason they never looked pleased to see us... :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:53 am 
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See in the Go|Weg they had a similar articale and where disgussing what the different animals are most likely to do, was an interesting read. It is all well to watch the animals on the side of the road that one can see, the difficult ones are those that one cannot see that dart out of the bush when startled, my last trip I had a kudu dart past the front of the car that I had not seen :big_eyes: :big_eyes: and had mud on the windscreen and on my shirt from its hooves that it kicked up as it passed.

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Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
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 Post subject: Re: What will THAT animal do ... ?!?!?!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:18 pm 
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A sure one is that 'chickens' WILL dash in front of your car just as they look like they might go the other way.

I did a study of this over the past 6 weeks in the Park.

Type does not matter - if it is a francolin or spurfowl or any of the 'chicken' species ... it will dash in front of you at the last minute no matter how much it seems it will go in the other direction :roll:

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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