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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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It’s almost a year later and I have yet to see any change regarding the maintenance of some of the fences around the camps. Now, how do you raise and discuss this topic without people taking offense? Before asking me if I did report it, let me assure you that I have done so in the feedback questionnaire. I sincerely hope that I convey the message from a genuine concern rather than a complaints point of view.

I started my recent trip report with a sunset photo taken from behind the fence at Satara saying that I would love to be able to remove that fence. (Over here):-

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=77743

Reality tells us that it would be almost impossible to do so. During the floods in 2012 I noticed that the vegetation growth along the fences (both at Satara and Maroela) were rapidly getting out of hand. You could hear the sound of electric shorts ticking between the wires regularly - even more so when it started to rain. This time around the vegetation was clearly out of hand with nothing having been done to the problem since 2012.

Have a look at the photo below. This fence runs alongside the Limpopo river bordering the Tuli between SA and Botswana. I have chosen this photo to show the early stages of what will happen when the ellies figure out that the fence is no longer biting them (second dropper on the left of the photo). It's not very clear in the photo, but the fence looked worse on the other side.

Image

Being a fence on the border of two countries its way more elaborate than the puny fences at Satara (no pun intended). The ellies will in times of drought be eying the greener pastures on the other side of the fence. Then one day one of the juveniles will be pushed into the fence and realizing that nothing really happened they will start walking along the fence for a few hundred meters happily bending over the fence posts. In the photo I'm referring to the outer two layers (basically the same as the standard fences used around campsites in the park) on both sides of the six (yes six) coils of razor wire in the middle. Along with these coils of razor wire there used to be a cable also running the length of the fence, as well as inspection points all along the way.

Image

What happens next is that they will somehow find a way through the coils of razor wire - I have not witnessed the exact way that they do so,but as you can see on the photo, they somehow do. I have seen the flattened coils of wire and some more bits and pieces of the coils all around the area where they crossed. I can only imagine the damage done to their legs. The cycle continues, the fence is no longer electrified and no-one wants to claim responsibility for the upkeep. Once a fence post is bent you have to replace instead of trying to bend it back into shape and re-using it. The costs for trying to maintain are quickly running into thousands.

Here is an example of the damage done to a fence similar to the ones used at Satara and Maroela.

Image

Please share your thoughts. Something must be done before someone gets injured and we need to change places like these at Satara (the Maroela fence is even worse) back to an area where you would want to go and watch the sunset knowing its safe to do so. For the record I also prefer camps without fences and if the mods think that I'm skating on thin ice - please remove my post :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:48 pm 
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My 2c worth.....

You can't have large animals enterring camps.
Too many people about, and too many children.
To allow this, would only be asking for trouble.

So if electric fences are needed, then so be it.


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:15 pm 
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And my 2c worth

In my opinion most predators, elephant and critters are able to enter Kruger camps with or without an electrified mile high fence. Since the main camps have become more and more resort like, electric fences are essential. Mostly to keep the animals outside, for their own protection :tongue: .

Along Mapungubwe’s western section, behind the ugly fence is a newer elephant two wire electric fence the same as around the camps. They are more than adequate imo to keep the big foots out but not so for the bigger camps with people, especially children wondering around all hours, to visit the ablutions, kitchens, swimming pool and what have you.

Just for what it’s worth, the old SADF Limpopo fence in the first two photos has been without power for many years. Plenty openings have been made for human and bicycle trafficking and the ellies use them too. The elephants appear to know how and where to step on the razor wire to flatten it without cutting their feet however less intelligent grazers have being stuck in and between this particular fence and died horribly. We’ve also witnessed elephants, I guess other animals sense it too, materialize out of nowhere, to cross a fence, as soon as the power is off.

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:54 pm 
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:thumbs_up: giraffee - an out of action electric fence is IMHO an accident just waiting to happen.

Cutting the grass on both sides of the fence is not a solution. A once-off proper clearing of the vegetation growing through the fences must be done in order to get the electricity flowing once more. Give me grass slasher and a decent pair of ratchet pruning shears and I'll put my money where my mouth is. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:12 pm 
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What Electric Fences ???


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:27 pm 
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avon vosloo wrote:
:thumbs_up: giraffee - an out of action electric fence is IMHO an accident just waiting to happen.


Oh come on. Life in the pre electric fence days went on the same as it does now. Lol!


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:50 pm 
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I was in Kruger on Saturday - on my stop at Skukuza noticed that all the Electric fences in front of the eating deck are covered in grass from the river - they cannot be working or they have shorted out and are therefor not working

The fences in front of the Chalets have also not been working for some time now


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Electric fences are there to give humans a safe feeling rather than keep the big & hairy out.

Just after the lovely picnic site of Makhadzi was completed, the territorial bull ele, who had probably seen it being built in his patch without his permission, trashed the fence, electric strands and all, and terrorised the staff by taking out the huge fever tree in the middle of camp, plus rearranging the white log fences.

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:05 pm 
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The golden rule with electrical wires is to assume that they are live, if you don't you could be shocked. The animals can sense if the fences are off and then you have havoc. Elephants are know to push trees over to make their job easier when climbing the fence. They have a great understanding of how to climb over things if they need to.

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:27 pm 
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GlenD, Life indeed went on like it did in the pre electric fence days. :) Only difference is that many more people now visiting the park do so during family holidays, with kids, and granny & gramps. Surely there must have been valid reasons for the fences to be erected in the first place?

BB
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Electric fences are there to give humans a safe feeling rather than keep the big & hairy out.


Could be one of the reasons.

So what are we saying? Did they make a mistake all those years ago to erect the fences? Are the fences only there to provide visitors with a rather false sense of security? Is it OK that the fences are currently an overgrown mess? Is it OK not to maintain them any longer and if so why not remove them and sell the scrap metal? Do we assume all the fences are live even though it's quite clear that they are not? Even humans can hear the ticking sound when the wires are live, but, do we wait until someone assume the fence is not live and just has to try to find if it really is?


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:38 pm 
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I know one or two people who have inadvertantly 'tested' electric fances, and they can attest to the fact that they work.

My wife took a pic through the strands once and cannot remember a few seconds of her life........

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:43 pm 
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avon vosloo wrote:
GlenD, Life indeed went on like it did in the pre electric fence days. :) Only difference is that many more people now visiting the park do so during family holidays, with kids, and granny & gramps. Surely there must have been valid reasons for the fences to be erected in the first place?


Not actually, it was just as difficult getting accomodation during school holidays back then as it is now and the existing camps from back then have not really grown in terms of capacity, with the exception of a few e.g. Lower Sabie's tents.

Maybe there was probably a reason for them being put up in the first place, maybe it was just an added precaution. Only SANParks can answer that. Point is, nothing happened then that doesnt happen today (or did it :hmz: )

All im saying is the commotion some people make about fences not being live, could be toned down a bit in my opinion. (im referring to a newspaper article a few years ago where the author was having a Chernobyl meltdown because Skukuza's fence was not on).


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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:52 pm 
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It is a known fact that animals, and some 'dangerous', find their way into camps with or without electrification.

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:24 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
I know one or two people who have inadvertantly 'tested' electric fances, and they can attest to the fact that they work.

My wife took a pic through the strands once and cannot remember a few seconds of her life........


:funny:

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 Post subject: Re: When did the rest camp fences become electrified?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:58 pm 
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I agree that probably the the fences (note I did not mention Electric fences) are there to offer some form of belief and feeling of security that they will help keep out the animals But I can assure you that the fences on the river side of Skukuza have NOT been working for a long time now - certainly the fences in front of the River front Chalets have not been operative over the last two years - and not three weeks ago.

Makes no different to us when we go - just have to be a little more careful


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