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 Post subject: Relocation of animals inside and outside camps
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Maybe :hmz: a thing to think of is how we have attracted squirrels. That would certainly attract many predators.

The solution for me would be about adapting our behavior. Reptiles have only a brain stem, squirrels, one layer more.

Red Dune, I do hear your concern. You have a very good point. I hope that it does not take a snake bite to make it a reality.

Thing is, what can be done on a practicle day to day basis to avert a tradegedy. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:15 pm 
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1. Stop feeding the squirrels :twisted:
2. Ensure all rubbish is sealed in proper bins......any one else?

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:55 am 
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I am in the privilege position to live very close to one of our National Parks. Being a keen cyclist, my path has crossed with venomous snakes a few times whilst cycling in the West Coast National Park. Puff adders and cobras struck at me on a few occasions but fortunately they missed (narrowly). If I was bitten +/- 30 km away from home with a heart racing due to cycling and being alone on a seldom used jeep track, it would most probably be fatal. I accept that and know it is their territory. I made the choice to cycle there and will handle the consequences if it comes to that.

However it was a different story when my wife encountered a 1.8m Cape Cobra in our walled garden and also when I had a close encounter with a Cape Cobra in our garage. Both these snakes were in our domestic area, endangering our lives. The first one I tried to relocate. Since it returned the same day to the same spot where we first encountered it, it was killed. The second one was badly injured when I tried to remove it from the shelves in the garage (whilst repeatedly striking at me) and was unfortunately also killed.

For us snakes are a daily reality and I never allow our 3.5 year old boy to play in the garden before first checking for snakes. He has no idea what danger a snake like a puff adder or cobra holds for him and will most probably be killed if bitten and not treated quick enough. For that reason I have a zero tolerance policy with snakes in our yard. Some time ago my father in law’s Staffordshire bull terrier was killed by a puff adder on the farm. That dog was much stronger and faster reacting than my little boy but still he had no chance against the lightning quick puffie.

The point I’m trying to make is that different situations calls for different actions. I cannot visit the wilderness camps in Kgalagadi because my boy is not allowed there – mainly for safety reasons. I accept that and for that reason we will camp in the fenced camps only until it is safe to do otherwise. Would it not be ironic and tragic if he gets bitten by a snake in the “safety” of a fenced camp? To say that the squirrels in the camp are in their natural habitat is a joke. Fenced camps are NOT natural habitat for squirrels or any other animal. Fenced camps are there for us to take our family into the wilderness in a relatively safe environment. It is a compromise in the favor of mankind to allow us to visit a wilderness area with relative safety (if only) for our children. If it was not the case, why don’t we then just drop the fences and allow lions and other predators in as well? I mean each year more people get killed by venomous snakes than by lions so why try to keep the lions out whilst accepting venomous snakes in the fenced camps?

I think everything possible should be done to keep the fenced camps safe - especially for small children. I therefore support Red Dune’s theory that the squirrels may just be one of the reasons why snakes enter Nossob and relocating them is a good idea. I would much rather see the squirrels and snakes go to the other side of the fence than to see a little human life ended due to ignorance and shortsightedness.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:43 pm 
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@ WeskusKlong

I completly disagree.

First of all: Squirrels in a fenced Area is there natural habitatas. I can tell you why, because befor the Camp developed by humans these Animals live there. have there Territory here. No doubt in this point I totally agree, Tourist feeding that animals and they are getting very cheeky. But you don´t have to forget Squirrels, Mongoose Suricates kill and eat Snakes. They help to keep the Area Snake free. The Problem will be that even mamals are difficult to keep out of the Camp, therefor Snakes of keeping oiutside ist pure Utopia.

Secondly: Snakes, doesn´t matter which one, are a big part of Ecosystem. They eliminate Mices and Rats. Otherway around if you destroy Snakes the population of this animals increase. I ahve no clue which scenario is better!

Thirdly: Snakes will only attack if you do not give them Space to roam.

forth: More people die on car accident then of Snakes We always keep that in mind! We are afraid of Snakes, but not of cars? that doesn´t make sense.

Best Regards

malealea

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:25 pm 
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Quote:
I completly disagree.

First of all: Squirrels in a fenced Area is there natural habitatas. I can tell you why, because befor the Camp developed by humans these Animals live there. have there Territory here. No doubt in this point I totally agree, Tourist feeding that animals and they are getting very cheeky. But you don´t have to forget Squirrels, Mongoose Suricates kill and eat Snakes. They help to keep the Area Snake free. The Problem will be that even mamals are difficult to keep out of the Camp, therefor Snakes of keeping oiutside ist pure Utopia.

Secondly: Snakes, doesn´t matter which one, are a big part of Ecosystem. They eliminate Mices and Rats. Otherway around if you destroy Snakes the population of this animals increase. I ahve no clue which scenario is better!

Thirdly: Snakes will only attack if you do not give them Space to roam.

forth: More people die on car accident then of Snakes We always keep that in mind! We are afraid of Snakes, but not of cars? that doesn´t make sense.

Best Regards

malealea


@ malealea. You have all the right in the world to have your own opinion. You voiced your disagreement with Red Dune and I chose to support his argument. It is obvious pointless to pursue this argument as I don't agree to most stated in your 4 points. I have my experience in life from which I draw my statements and decisions and you obviously have yours, so I guess let's agree to disagree! :D

Have a great weekend!

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Hi

????? That is a Forum isn´t it! Therefor discussions are a allowed arent we? I think this discussion is quite intresting. You say you disagree to all of my Points, fine then please tell me how you want to keep all the Squirrels and Snakes out of the Camp? There is always a Gap between Praxis and Theory.

the seond Point facts can´t be swoped just compare death causede by cars and sanke bites. Of course Snakes are venoumous (some of them) and they can be very dangerous, but befor they attack the give you more then one warning. But unfortunatly the most humans do not understand it and get bitten.

I´d like to carry on with the debate, I´m coroius how the other mebers reackt.

Best Regards

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Quote:
... but befor they attack the give you more then one warning. But unfortunatly the most humans do not understand it and get bitten.

:huh: I thought the puff adder is a master of camouflage and ambushes his pray by the method of surprise - mostly curled up in a pathway to lash out at any pray or possible thread passing by. :doh: :doh:

O and then the cobra... The last one that struck AT ME did so when I passed BEHIND him. I fortunately saw him early enough and passed him on a safe distance, but when my shadow fell over the snake (my mistake) it attacked instantly to the left, towards me. I passed quickly but the snake swung around and tried to get me again - this time from behind. He lunged forward with about a third of his body off the ground, this time narrowly missing me. All happed in a fraction of a second.

To get back to my point of kids versus snakes in fenced camps: I know snakes by first hand experience and know that in they will NOT politely ask a kid to pass by when approached in all innocence. I also know that the woman killed in our town some time ago when she was bitten by a puff adder hidden IN HER BED did not know the snake was there before it was to late...

The fenced camps in the Kgalagadi accounts for less that 1% of the Kgalagadi's total area. Let's appreciate the wild in the other 99+ % and stop making issues about snakes in fenced camps. They don't belong there, should be managed accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:36 pm 
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WeskusKlong - how does one explain to a snake that he must avoid a certain 1% of a national park proclaimed to protect all wildlife?

I really do think when we enter these parks we have to accept we are now in their, the wild animals', territory.

And where does one draw the line - which animals will we humans deem 'ok' to enter fenced camps; if a lion came into the camp, what happens to it, or an elephant in a camp in Kruger ... Surely we as visitors to these areas need to accept that we are amongst wild animals in areas proclaimed for their preservation and we, the humans, need to adapt accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Well said DB! :thumbs_up:

We are priviledged to visit the animals territory, and should act accordingly, by being 'aware', as we are in their domain, and by being responsible adults and parents.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:21 pm 
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@DinkyBird You are absolutely right. It is not a simple matter of getting rid of everything that breathes in the fenced camps. The only way to TRY and avoid snakes in the fenced camps will be by removing possible food or other attractions in the camps. Not an easy task as we found back home that the mere presence of a water tap will attract them. They can "smell" water in a mile and in an arid area like Kgalagadi this is a huge problem.

The fact that we are in their area does not mean we are not part of the hole system. We are Gods pinnacle of His creation and should use our intelligence to protect us from danger, in synchrony with His creation. Let me assure you - no tourists means no Parks. Man has interfered with nature by creating Parks in the first place. By creating border fences at will we created barriers in game's natural migration routes. There are MANY examples of this, like the elephants in the KNP whose West to East migration routes were disrupted by FENCES. Artificial waterholes in arid areas creates HUGE problems of overgrazing. I can give some classic examples but it is beyond this debate. Point is we are already involved in nature up to our noses. To now protest the removal of squirrels in Nossob after all the issues mentioned is a bit of a joke. The impact on nature by removing squirrels or snakes from fenced camps are absolutely minute when compared to the damage already done but if it can save the life of ONE child it will be a big thing. If you wish to disagree it is up to you. You have the right to your opinion and it is partly what makes this forum ticking - debating issues and maybe learning from each other. Have a great weekend.

@wanderw You are right. It IS because I am a responsible parent that I took the time to answer this... Keep well and bye bye.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:41 am 
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I fail to see how it will be possible to guard the perimiters permanently in order to create a snake exclusion zone .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:36 am 
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I fail to see how it will be possible to guard the perimiters permanently in order to create a snake exclusion zone .

:huh: Did I ever say the fences needs to be guarded!!!? This is an absolutely senseless debate - I'm exiting thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:52 am 
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WeskusKlong wrote:
I therefore support Red Dune’s theory that the squirrels may just be one of the reasons why snakes enter Nossob and relocating them is a good idea.


What I mean is that rodents and snakes cannot possibly be kept out of the camps and am also of the opinion the argument is pointless .

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:42 pm 
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If you get to close at a Snake they will strike at you. No doubt. But normaly befor they strike the will give you more then ionen warning. Snakes attack humans (talikng about venomous Snakes not Pythons or Anacondas!!!), by self defence. They are not able to eat us. So befor they bite us the will give you mor then one warning. Some venomous Snakes are even able to bite without injecktion. You stated already every time Snakes attack you it was your fault as you stated.

We are not God and I think in this debatte, to use god as an Argument ist questionable. Therefor we should not interfiere. To keep Snakes out of the Camp is pure Utopia. If you are so afraid of it then you have to saty out of the park(Sorry that I say it direcktly but we can´t enter and then act like that). You will never get a Snake free Zone. I just want to give you an example. If you remove Snakes then you mus remove Squirrels and Rats and Mice and and and. Did you think about the Cost? And then you have to eliminate Scorpions which are also quite poisious, some of the may kill humans. Do you get the Point.

By the way: Propper Boots can help avoiding Snakesbites. I´m always surprised see peoble walking barefeed in the Park. or with Sandals. I think that is your responsibility towards your kids, that they were propper Boots. Puffadders for exampel can´t bite above the Ankles. That will help.

Fence will make it for mamals more difficult to Pass by, but it is not impossible, as lot of examples shows. Best exampels the Lion in a village close to Kruger there is heavy debatte on it.

Best Regards

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 Post subject: Re: Snake scare at Nossob
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:22 am 
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Weskusklong,

I think you have done very well in getting your message across . . . . and your last sentence of your post of 10h55, 02/07/2010 says it all. Thanks for your support and (only) practical viewpoint.

Maybe we should drop the topic for discussion all together at this point . . before a couple of Green Peace land rovers arrives at Nossob camp to guard the ground squirrel's holes ! (the occupants not to forget their boots)

The action of removing of the jackal from Nossob camp . . . and making it as far as possible safe for tourists . . . was also started with viewpoints like this on the Forum some years ago . . . and there was no outcry before or afterwards. Maybe its " kenako " . . . a Sohtho/Tswana word that has become a very famous WC expression.

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