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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:58 am 
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Butch Smuts – Part 4.

Pharmaceutical companies liked to have certain of their drugs tested, and as the KRUGER PARK had a good record, many of the newly developed drugs were tested on large mammals.

Pioneer work in this field earned world acclaim for the National parks Board and a proud record had been established by men such as Dr. Tol Pienaar the Park Warden and of course Butch Smuts.

Butch’s great satisfaction was in handling and working with the animals and therefore regarded the capturing operation was the most rewarding of his duties.

Using the crossbow or the dart gun gave him the opportunity to pit his wits against those of the animals, a challenge that was much more satisfying to him than using either a camera or a rifle.

New drugs tested in the field included Rompun (Xylazine hydrochloride), a sedative previously used mainly on cattle and horses; Ketamine (CI-581), a general anaesthetic agent which was for the first time used in the capture of predators – Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Spotted Hyaena, this substance had been used extensively during a variety of surgical procedures on human beings. CI744 a general anaesthetic agent was used to capture Lions and finally Narcan (Nalaxone hydrochloride) a potent antidote to certain immobilizing drugs which they used on a variety of animals ranging in size from an Elephant down to a Steenbok.

Having acquainted himself with most of the problems during the capture of Zebra, Butch had few difficulties in using these drugs.

Once during a demonstration to a group of students, the eager group set out early the morning, unfortunately by midday they had managed to capture only a Zebra and an Impala.

They had planned to also immobilize and Elephant and a Buffalo.

Eventually a lone Buffalo bull was located; the immobilizing cocktail was prepared and loaded into the crossbow, the Landie (old faithful which had done in excess of 190000 km mostly in the off-road of the KRUGER bush) was eased into a broadside firing position. The dart thudded home and the “victim” took off in a cloud of dust. The group followed in the vehicle – at a safe distance.

After about 10 minutes Butch got the impression that although the old bull was tiring, it showed no signs of being immobilized. A further dart was prepared, by now the old bull had turned and faced the Landie, Butch changed into reverse gear, the bull lifted its massive head, snorted and charged.

The reversing vehicle managed to stay just ahead of the angry Buffalo – only until it hit a hidden tree stump. The engine shuddered and died, the enraged beast collided with the front bumper, the boss bending it until it almost touched the wheel.

Fortunately the animal was now shaken as much as the wide-eyed occupants of the vehicle and stormed off. The Landie had a hole in the fuel tank, it also had a large tear in the rear door and the bumper was bent; fortunately no one was injured.

The fuel tank was plugged with a soap paste, the group drove to the nearest camp, the students thought it was a great adventure, little realizing that had the Buffalo not decided to retreat, and the outcome of the whole episode may have been quite different.

Once while out in the field with a group of foreign visitors, the vehicle was unexpectedly charge by an enraged Elephant cow, Butch until telling the story still could not imagine where she had come from, when he got the vehicle moving she was about 10 metres away, any delay may have had serious results however the Belgium visitors applauded the beat for its brilliant performance while Butch was observing the charge from the rear view mirror of the swerving vehicle, noticing that she was knocking down trees – obviously hell bent on catching them. Fortunately they reached the road before becoming a statistic. The visitors were ecstatic but his feeling was one of great relief . . . .

The Pretoriuskop District Ranger had to remove 5 Rhino bulls from the Faai enclosure during1973 and requested Butch’s assistance. The population was increasing and they regular fighting broke out among themselves.

The plan was to dart the animals from a vehicle, then to load the immobilized beasts onto an open trailer, and to then release them outside the camp.

All went well until the largest named Faai who had been in the enclosure for twelve years was darted, instead of the dart hitting in a nice fleshy part it went into the base of Faai’s tail, unknown to the capture team the dart went right through and squirted most of the into the nice fresh Lowveld air. Faai set off half tranquilized using all of the 100 ha enclosure area to evade the nuisances who were in pursuit.

Eventually they managed to slip a rope around his horn and walked him to the waiting trailer; here he was given a booster of the M99 he quietly lay down and was loaded and transported out of the camp where he was released.

The two oldest bulls – Charlie and Folozi who were part of the first group of two bulls and four cows were already enjoying their freedom – the first White Rhinos to do so in sixty five years.

The capture of White Rhino was relatively easy and simple.

The Black cousin who frequented denser bush was a different matter, they are irritable and seek and destroy with the least encouragement. Butch had the privilege of tracking down these lovable animals three times, he tells that more time was spent up trees than on terra firma, it was eventually agreed by all that the best method of darting Black Rhino was from an elevated position – safely in a helicopter.

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Butch Smuts Part 5.

Butch reckons that the most exciting animal to dart is the Elephant.

Missing a shot is near impossible, however then the difficulties start, they can move quite a long distance in the up to thirty minutes before the drug takes its effect. Then it has to fall correctly on its side and not on the belly otherwise it has breathing problems when the intestines excerpt pressure on the diaphragm, a beast laying incorrectly has to be rolled over or the antidote has to be injected without delay. The dark skin leads to hyperthermia especially if it had been running in the heat of day. It has to be kept cool with plenty of water especially over the ears where there are large veins close to the surface.

The general reaction of an Elephant after the antidote had been administered is to rise slowly to its feet, stand around a little while and then amble off slightly hung-over.

Unfortunately the beasts do not always react the way expected and then everyone in close proximity has to take quick cover and count the scratches and nurse their bruises later.

Everything also does not always go according to the book; he recalls the tragic incident when a tranquilized bull went down in a very unusual position. As the drug took effect the front legs gave way and it spread its hind legs, the weight of the huge head pulled it forward. Butch realised the problem and administered the antidote into a large vein in the hind leg. Unfortunately the animal started taking shallower breaths and five minutes later when the antidote should have taken effect, it was dead.

His immense size and the triangle formed between its head and hind legs made it impossible to roll it over.

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No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:24 pm 
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Butch Smuts Part 6.

Bruce Bryden studied Lions and their behaviour since 1971, he and Butch became good friends and the two started planning how to capture Lions. It was relatively easy, once the animal had been darted; it had to be kept in sight. Not quite that simple as the terrain was often thickly grown and rocky, a dated Lion would normally seek refuge in thick bush, when half tranquilized they would charge the following vehicle, of which the doors or windows were often removed to ease the darting process.

The capture team would in the beginning live in a caravan but towing it through the AFRICAN bush was also not always that easy. A structure of expanded metal structure with three sides covered with a tarpaulin roof was designed which worked perfectly. This was erected close by the bait which was chained to a tree.

At the start very few Lions were captured, even after dragging the bait through the bush, hopefully attracting the predators.

They were aware of Gus Adendorff’s success in attracting Lions by means of recorded sounds of either Lions calling or of Hyaenas at a carcass.

This was an immediate success.

Their capture rate increased dramatically. The camp would be prepared the bait would be shot and dragged to leave scent trail and then chained to a convenient tree. The tape recordings would be played and soon the resident pride would answer and then pay a visit. The marksman would load his gun with the tranquilizer normally Sernylan and the process would start. Quite often the feeding darted Lion would continue feeding after cuffing a close by neighbour, sometimes they would take off and then return, other times they would disappear and then had to be followed and found. Unfortunately there was no effective antidote for Sernylan and it took up to 12 hours for a tranquilized Lion to recover, during this period they had be under safe surveillance to prevent injury or predation by other animals.

Fortunately Parke-Davis had developed Ketamine. This was a success and now the animals could be darted, weighed, measured, samples taken of, collared if required and then given the antidote within a short while, the animals would recover and live happily ever after.

Something that was always to be kept in mind was that all wild animals carry parasites of which many are harmful to man; e.g. Lions harbour a minute tapeworm which infect man and result in the formation of large cysts known as hydatids which can be fatal to man; exposed body parts were to rinsed in a strong saline solution after handling the animals.

The immobilized animals were after ten minutes still well aware of their surroundings but due to their tranquilized state were not able to react until sufficiently recovered.



The Zebra and Wildebeest population declined even further during 1974 in spite of the termination of the culling of the species.

Over 1200 Lions and 200 Spotted Hyaenas were captured in the Central District by the capture team, many of them more than once. Butch and Lazarus one captured twenty-one Lions their record near the Hlangulene picnic spot.

Over a period of 96 days they captured 488 Lions of which 409 were marked with a branding iron in 158 capture attempts, 80% of sighted Lions were captured.

The minimum Lion population for the Central District was estimated at 708 consisting of about sixty prides of which fifty seven contained marked Lions.

It was not possible to differentiate between pride an nomadic animals.

The sex ratio on average was 2♀ to 1♂ for sub adults the sex ratio was more even while in young cubs the numbers were even.

The prevalence of females is ascribed to high mortality suffered by the males in fights.

The largest pride consisted of 21 Lions, on average there were two adult males in a pride, the range being one to five.

The density of 708 Lions in an area of 5560 km² gave a density of almost thirteen Lions per 100 km² with prey animals having a density of 110 for the area. It can therefore be safely stated that Lions are great contributors to the decline of the Zebra and Wildebeest populations.

How could the problem be solved. Could the Lions be encouraged to alter their diet, by shooting abundant prey and feeding them to the Lions, therefore reducing the need for the Lions to catch their preferred species or to manage the habitat so that the conditions for Zebra and Wildebeest become more favourable, and less favourable for other species e.g. Buffalo.

The Research Department recommended that all the man-made water holes influencing Wildebeest and Zebra in their major summer-grazing areas and in the transitional areas between summer and winter be closed down or made inaccessible to animals as soon as possible.

The reasoning behind this was that summer-grazing areas have developed and attained their status because all water-holes dry up during the drier periods.

Providing permanent water during these periods generally encourages migratory game to remain longer than they normally would have, this in turn results in trampling and over-grazing of the area.

Water-dependant non migratory species like Kudu, Impala, Warthog, Giraffe Waterbuck and others soon colonize the area, attracting more predators due to the permanent food source, making the Wildebeest and Zebra very vulnerable.

It was also suggested that Buffalo culling in the Central District also be reduced, the reason being that Buffalo which prefer tall and medium grass-land would initiate a grazing succession, effectively opening areas for other species which prefer the shorter grass.

Consideration was also given to reduce Elephant culling for the same reason but was not approved due to the damage these huge animals did to the Marula and Knobthorn Acacia in the area.

A burning programme was also suggested which would provide the two species with short grass conditions during the critical times of the year.

The frequency of veld burning was to be increased during the wet years while there was an abundance of fuel in the form of dry grass. This would help suppress the growth and encroachment of woody plants of which many have a negative influence on the Zebra and Wildebeest. Lions and other predators would now also have less cover in which to stalk or await their prey.

A culling policy for Lions and Hyaena was proposed as the numbers had to be reduced and veterinary restrictions associated with foot and mouth disease prohibited the removal of live animal from KRUGER PARK.

All culled animals were weighed, measured, skinned and eviscerated in the field. Skulls were cleaned for later age determination. Detailed tissue samples were taken, internal and external parasites collected and post-mortem examinations carried out by a team of veterinarians and technicians. Almost every scrap of material of scientific value was utilized.

The culling programme was completed in 1975, it was observed that there was a marked increase in the populations of the Zebra foals and Wildebeest calves. From the regions where the two mentioned predator species had been reduced/removed.

The survival of foals in the two not culled areas, the still remained low. Calves showed similar survival rates in all areas, it was now realised that predation by Lions was not focussed selectively on young Wildebeest but on the entire population.

Stomach contents provided meaningful information; Lions mostly had Impala, followed by Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra and Warthog.

Spotted Hyaenas were taking mainly Impala, especially in the lambing season, Wildebeest and Zebra remains seemed to have been scavenged from Lion kills. It could be assumed that the Zebra and Wildebeest remains were that of young animals – presumably orphaned ones.

One the Press became aware of the culling of Lions there were many huge placards advertising this, they gave the impression that information was deliberately withheld, after negotiations many journalists were taken out into the bush and after returning from their experience the tune changed.

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:57 am 
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Butch Smuts Part 7

After some time it was decided to do a resurvey of the Lion population in the culled areas. The Sweni was designated and a few months were spent in the bush.

Of their findings were that seventeen months after they had culled sixty four Lions out of a total population of 102, there were ninety two Lions back in the same area. Although the total number of Lions were nearly back to the original total some groups were still unsettled, travelling erratically over a wide area –they did not seem to have formed an established tribes with own established territories, their behaviour similar to that of nomads. Unrelated groups squabbled at carcasses but were tolerated at carcasses after calming down they would even feed together. Something an established resident pride would never allow.

After feeding or in the morning each group would take off on its own.

In two instances they found that sub-adults from different prides had formed a new single group – possibly the start of new pride formation protection and patrolling of territorial boundaries hunting together this would be more advantageous than being smaller loosely knit groups.

It was also found that at least twenty five Lions previously populating the Sweni Area had disappeared they had either left the area or were killed by the newcomers. Only thirteen of the original 102 had remained. This indicated that approximately 80% of the population had either migrated to the Sweni Area or were newly born to the area. This indicated to how successful Lions could repopulate a suitable habitat. The new populations indicated approximately twice the number of young adults than was the case with established prides in established areas.

Many males seemed to have been drawn into the culled area.

This confirmed that when there was an excess of young Lions who had to leave their prides at the age of about two years being forced out by the adults, some females would remain as replacement for the older ones, these younger Lions would become nomadic moving about until they find a suitable vacant area or maybe if the young males were old and strong enough to challenge and replace older pride males.

However at Mnondozi it was slightly different from Sweni. The Lions moved in more quickly and in eight months after twenty-eight Lions had been removed from the original Most of them adults that were breeding more successfully than those of Sweni. Sub adults seemed to be kept out. This could have been related to the size of the culling area and also to the scale in which it had been carried out.

The culling in Mnondozi was undertaken gradually in a smaller area while at Sweni it was undertaken on a larger scale and over a shorter period in the larger Sweni Area, creating vacant areas attracting foreign Lions initially reacting aggressively to one another. This could suppress the reproduction rate and cub survival. A more gradual culling operation when only a few individuals are lost at a time less conspicuous vacant areas are created, resulting in a slower influx of new Lions or to one group entering a particular vacant area, sometimes by a group extending its boundaries, not influencing the birth rate or cub survival.

The last culling operation was done in the Satara-Nwanedzi area unfortunately now follow up survey could be undertaken.

In January 1975 there were six prides comprising a total of sixty nine Lions, Mid 1977 there were 109 Lions from seven prides in the area, the number of adults remained the same, the number of cubs had doubled and sub -adults making up the balance. An explanation for this was that although culling had taken place the conditions for hunting had improved with plenty of game and also plenty of cover in the tall grass with Wildebeest and Zebra herds that had broken up and dispersed over the whole area.

Sub-adults which had had already left their parent tribes were now able to hunt almost anywhere and thereby avoiding contact with the adults. This would come to an end when the conditions turned to less favourable.

In the three different culling areas after a period of fifteen months after 121 Lions out of 215 were culled the number had recovered to 196.

Gus eventually concluded that culling Lions locally or in a small area is of questionable value. On average culling resulted in an increase in numbers increasing the number of require much more nutrition than adults however it is unlikely that the number of prey animals would decline much. In order to increase the number of prey animals the culling of predators would have to be sustained for a number of years and also done over a large area.

It appeared that the recovery of the number of Spotted Hyaenas was much slower than that of Lions, the difference maybe due to the difference in their social structures.

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No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:59 am 
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Butch Smuts Part 8.

Butch noticed that the fewer Lions there were in an area the less roaring there was at night.

In well populated areas one would sometimes hear roaring from many different directions sometimes every single night, roaring is a spacing mechanism it is the way in which Lions announce and advertise their presence indicating their area to foreigners. Lions also communicate by urine, faeces or just their physical presence. Intruders take note and steer clear. In the absence of these mechanisms they will enter a vacated area this explains the brisk re occupation of vacant areas.

In vacant areas the litter size was larger to that of established areas five compared to three.

The population settling in the culling areas were just reacting to the lower density and the availability of prey animals. Therefore although the Zebra and Wildebeest f the Central District benefited from the Lion culling over a short period it was not sustained.

Almost immediately migrant Lions seemed to move in and out of the culling areas regularly until individuals or groups started establishing themselves and remained for longer periods.

The culling did not seem to have any effect on the Lion population of the Central District numbers have again reached the original – however Sable Antelope and Tsessebe also seemed to be holding their own.

From a research point of view the culling could be described as a great success, the information collected was unique as it would have been unobtainable through other methods.

The reaction of Lions, Spotted Hyaenas and their prey to culling could be documented, masses of information on Lion reproduction growth and age determination social structures and feeding was gathered.

Although primarily interested in Lions and Spotted Hyaenas other carnivores like Leopards AFRICAS most beautiful feline always caused much excitement. They seemed much more confident at night and also took no notice of any lights when they announced their presence by their rasping there was always a flow of excitement, although they would feed on anything available even the most putrid of carrion they would always approach very carefully, valuing their safety much more than a free meal, always remaining at a respectful distance when their bigger cousins were at a carcass. Over a period of 4400 nights in the bush Leopards visited a set bait only five times.

One evening after settling near a set bait they heard a rustling in a nearby tree then a branch snapped and something came crashing to the ground, they switched on their spotlight and there 25 meters away stood a magnificent male Leopard who had misjudged his jump to the ground, highlighted by the dark of the background he stood there eyeing the surrounds it regained its composure and majestically strode out to feed on the Wildebeest carcass where it fed for over an hour and then left in response to the sound of approaching Hyaenas.

Black Backed Jackals were also frequent visitors as were Black Backed Vultures, Side Striped Jackals visited on fewer occasions, normally singularly or in pairs when on their own they would rip off some meat and bury it close by and then gorge themselves until having sufficient.

Wild dogs also occasionally visited the carcass .

No other carnivores visited the set baits although Genets and Civets were often seen

Elephants sometimes came across the set bait and they then milled about – the smell of blood seemed to unnerve them.

The remains of a carcass would after an evenings heavy feeding be cleared by the scavengers Hyaenas would first move in followed by Jackals and then the Vultures would do their bit and by the second morning there would be little or no trace of the carcass, all that remained was a bare patch of ground stained by Vulture droppings and a few Vulture feathers. Hyaenas would have dragged the larger bones to their den sometimes a few kilometres away after devouring whatever they could nothing going to waste in nature.

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No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:28 am 
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Butch Smuts Part 9.

Butch always enjoyed when the family could join him in the bush, he would tow the caravan to a suitable spot, build the camp and then wife Biddy and young Karen would have a time most tourists only dream of.

Often they would return to their bush home an find that they had had visitors , Baboons may have broken their way into their caravan leaving behind their marks and signs, or Hyaenas my have removed what they had found digestible.

What was not locked in their steel trunk often found its destination in the bush and sometimes not at all.

Butch accepted the position of Chief Professional Officer with the Natal Parks Board and this knowledgeable Scientist and his family moved to Pietermaritzburg in 1978 after spending nine years with the South African national parks Board, mainly in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK and also a while in the KALAHARI GEMSBOK NATIONAL PARK.

Butch is an authority on Lion Zebra, Blue Wildebeest as well as Hippopotamus, Elephant, and Spotted Hyaena. Together with George Schaller, Ian Whyte, and Randolph Eaton he can truly be regarded as one of the world experts in the study of AFRICAN predators.

The source of this series about this remarkable end respected man is mainly the book Lion” which Butch Smuts published in 1982.

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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:51 am 
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Stephan Stephansen

Stephan Stephansen was borne in while his parents lived in Pretoriuskop.

His father oom Percy Stephansen was a bricklayer by trade, who retired as Bricklayer Foreman from the KRUGER PARK. Oom Percy had a hand in most of the bridges, troughs and building constructed during the earlier day.

Oom Percy had a son Stephan who grew up in SKUKUZA, Stephan was very mischievous and spent much time in his uncle; oom Johan Kloppers’ office while being lectured about musts and must nots of living the Staff Village and in the Park.

Stephan was a keen fisherman and he regularly convinced of his friends to join on an excursion in the Nwaswitshaka or the Sabi, apparently his sense of direction was not always that good, or his map reading of the area also not that good either, or maybe he just did always quite understand where or where not they were allowed to practise their sport, the fish always seemed to bite better at spots that were not quite within the rules.

Fortunately Johan Kloppers was Johan Kloppers’ favourite uncle and oom Johan also seemed to have a soft spot for his nephew, who spent much time in his office with him or some times in his vehicle out in the bush, maybe it was more soothing to know that the youngster was within eyesight.

Later when he and his friends trespassed; they were fined by oom Johan; Stephan never had an oversupply of money and then had to borrow the money to pay the fine – from oom Johan; whether the loans were ever repaid is not quite sure.

He also remembers the day when all the explanations did not help one bit. He and of his friends were secretly building a raft and eventually when completed it had to be tested again - not quite within the rules.

The masterpiece was launched into the flowing Sabi and soon they were drifting downstream, all the rowing and worrying was quite in vain, the stream decided their course, fortunately they “moored” in at a bend but unfortunately they had been seen . . . . .

Stephan loved going out with on the rare opportunity when allowed by the Rangers.

His other favoured oom was oom Ampie (Espag), oom Ampie whore puttees he had made himself, Stephan would love to have a pair. He begged and begged and promised to behave until one day oom Ampie’s heart softened and gave him a pair of brand new puttees, they were a bit oversize for the schoolboy but that did not matter.

Now the opportunity to wear his gift from oom Ampie had to be created.

His lucky day arrived when some Elephant were to be darted and Stephan was invited by oom Ampie.

He was out of bed and all dressed up long before sunrise of course the oversize puttees were also well strapped, ready for the great adventure. Eventually the field staff was ready and they left camp. Stephan wide eyed in attendance, oom Ampie was supplying the back up in case anything went wrong. Stephan was told to stay close to oom Ampie.

They soon found a suitable herd and an Elephant was selected the technician loaded the dart and fired, the dart hit true, the Elephant took off, in the wrong direction; straight to where oom Ampie and wide eyed Stephan were.

Oom Ampie shouted “hardloop” (run) to the already departing Stephan, the Elephant was diverted and when all came to rest oom Ampie was thanked for the puttees, they seemed to let the youngster run faster.

Going to school at SKUKUZA was also an adventure, they had to cross a culvert en route, which alternatively occupied by a Leopard or a Hyaena or a family of Warthogs.

He also with a smile and a twinkling eye recalls the day when the gang were playing on the Golf course and a pack of Wild dogs also paid the course a visit; it was just the boys and the dogs. Just for fun the dogs chased the boys up some trees, and the dogs then went for a rest in the shade underneath the wide eyed boys, it was quite late afternoon before the dogs decided that it was senseless waiting for their prey up the tree and moved on.

Fortunately oom Percy understood boys and convinced the worried mother to only start worrying if their son was not home by 19:00.

Quite often on their way home; after a day’s hard mischief at the Nwaswitshaka they would come across some Lions who would just leisurely lie and watch them pass a little distance away.

Mrs Stephansen and many other mothers living in the staff village at SKUKUZA must have really been very religious to have their sons growing up unscathed.

The guardian angels also must have been pleased when the sun disappeared at the end of the day.

Stephan says that when now he enters Numbi Gate he feels that he has come home, and the memories of those wonderful days start coming back, he remembers the day when they were watching a Giraffe and when they looked a bit higher into the tree there was a sleek golden spotted body also watching the Giraffe . . . . and the Ghwarriebush at the Nwaswitshaka and all its surrounding secrets and mystery and . . . . . . and . . . . . . . and . . . . . .

He must have surely had a boyhood most only dreamt about . . . . .

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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:59 am 
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gmlsmit :thumbs_up:

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[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:59 pm 
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gmlsmit :D
Stephan's story reminds me so much of an schoolfriend's adventures in the 70's (Based at Letaba Camp)
Thanks for sharing. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Being a boy growing up in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK during the 1960s - 1970s something one only dreams of. :)

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Location: In the belly of the Concrete Jungle *sigh*
Thank you gmlsmit for all the detailed information on these great people who I admire so much! :thumbs_up: I read somewhere on here that you have a book out or will have a book out?

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Official SANParks Honorary Ranger!
Please visit my KNP blog: http://thekrugerchronicles.wordpress.com

December KNP:
16 - 18: Punda Maria
19: Shingwedzi
20 - 23: Mopani


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Location: VEREENIGING
No I have been requested to publish but this is not my intention.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:12 am 
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Location: VEREENIGING
J A B Sandenbergh Part 1

It is not very clear who recommended the appointment of Col Jan Andries Beyers Sandenberg as successor to Col Stevenson-Hamilton as Warden of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, it may be assumed that it was Col Stevenson Hamilton himself as bein a man of military background, the possibility of the appointment Sandenbergh being discussed between Stevenson-Hamilton and Genl JC Smuts the then Prime Minister of the Union of Souith Africa is very likely to have taken place.

Stevenson-Hamilton was of opinion that military discipline was required to ensure that the staff performed as required and that visitors also toed the line.

Col Sandenbergh was the god-child of the General and also a cousin of Mr Jan Hofmeyer (onse Jan) the Vice Prime Minister and also Chancellor of the Wits University as well as of the Judge President of the Cape Judge Andries Beyers.

Jan Sandenbergh was born in Rustenburg on 12 August 1909, my dear old Dad was also born on 12 August and so was Oom Tol Pienaar the later Warden of KRUGER.

The son of Kittie the sister of Genl Christiaan Beyers and Jan the god son of Genl Louis Botha completed his schooling at Pretoria Boys High and joined the UDF during 1931 wwhere he was named CADET OF THE YEAR, his sword is still in the possession of his son Peter.

After the UDF was split into three different arms he joined the Airforce. At the age of 28 years he attained the rank of Lt.Col. the youngest Senior Officer in the UDF.

Jan sandenbergh was one of the first two test pilots in the SAAF. He was OC Wingfield and Youngsfield AFBs. He served in the Anti Submarine unit of the SAAF during WWII and later became OC AFB Waterkloof.

Jan Sandenbergh narrowly escaped death when the “Isle de France” from which he had a few days earlier disembarked at Aden was sunk by German submarines.

Col Sandenbergh was awarded the O.B.E at the end of WWII.

During his service in the SAAF he refused to have compulsory Church Parades and became disliked.

Col Sandenbergh had strict principles which he stuck to – he played it by the book.

While Warden he refused the Transcvaal Provincial Secretary passage through the KRUGER NETIONAL PARK after a hunting trip in Mozambique due to the Foot and Mouth diseas restrictions.

Col Sandenbergh and his wife were members of the South Africanm Party and after the 1948 change of Government may have no longer been in such good repute.

Being Warden of the KRUGER PARK his othe “ex officio” duties included being Postmaster, Chief of the SAP, Customs Officer and Justice of the Peace.

Col Sandenbergh was an outdoorsman who spent much of his leisure time hunting in Mozambique and Northern Zululand.

After his transfer to the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK he kept his rank of Colonel and was known as “the Colonel” to all in the area, all except the black population who referred to him as “Mehlomamba” – the one with eyes like a Mamba.

Col Sandenbergh carried out his duties to the best of his ability – he had all the living quarters (white and black) sprayed with DDT every three months in the never ending war against malaria.

A mechanic was employed to bring the Park vehicles into a serviceable condition.

He reported that it was very difficuilt for black squatters to make a living within the Park unless they were in permanent employ as their cropswere only fair and due to the Foot and Mouth restrictions could not keep livestock except for donkeys – their position was precarious, he was convinced that much more p[oaching was carried out than was discovered.

He requested funds for dams to be built at suitable sites as indicated by an Irigation Engineer this as well as bore-holes would provide perennial water for game during dry periods.

He requested that the Soil and Water Conservation Authorities complete a comprehensive programme for the progressive barring of of seasonal rivers and spruits to retard the seasonal flow of rain water.

He arranged for the purchase of radio sets previously on loan from the SADF.

The WNLA offices at Isweni were converted into a nice little restcamp –Nwanetsi.

During a visit to Pafuri during 1949 he observed how water was drawn from the river and carted a long distance to the WNLA area, he was very dissatisfied about this and immediately contacted Mr Lovett the Manager in Charge of this Chamber of Mines situation a well was dug and early in 1950 fresh water was available to the Pafuri inhabitants.

Col Sandenbergh was of belief that veldt fires were very destructive to the flora of the Park and did not recognise it as a role player in the Lowveld ecology. He convinced the Board in 1948 that man made veldt fires should be limited to not more than once in every five year cycle and then only after the first seasonal rains had fallen. This policy was detrimental in certain areas e.g. the tall grass veldt of the Pretoriuskop Area where much of the game migrated from and did not return. The animals moved to the areas where the local population burnt the veldt – and were subsequently slaughtered when leaving the Park boundaries. Zebra and Blue Wildebeest as well as Sable Antelope bearing most of the brunt.

He reported that for the Pretoriuskop Area Elephants were well established in the whole of the Park. He also mentioned that tourists reported sightings of Black Rhino in the Nwatimhiri area near Lower Sabi, however on investigation the spoor was found to have been that of a Hippo who had lost one toe of its right fore foot.

Eland were reported to as being scarce and on the decline. He recommended that controlled and properly authorized Lion and Wild dog control be implemented. Only 31 Sable were sighted by him during 1946, Roan were plentiful in the northern parts and were seen as far north as Tshokwane.

Red Duiker were well established in the Numbi area so was Red Rhebuck in the Malelane area drinking from the Crocodile River.

The Sabi River was well stocked with Tigerfish, Yellowfish and Bream. Heavy silting prevented the Levhuvu and Limpopo Rivers from being favourable habitat for the Pisces.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:31 am 
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Thank you for your usefull info :D You should realy reconsider writing a book :o

Have a great day!

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"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
:D :thumbs_up:

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Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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