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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:14 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
There are Leopard in the Mountains all over the Cape...from Pringle Bay right through to the Amatola Range in the Border region. They tolerate humans very well and feed on their non locked up dogs etc at night. My Dad and younger brother have often hunted in the Mountains of Bedford and Cradock that surround the MTZNP and they have found plenty of evidence of Leopard (Droppings, Spoor, Tree Barking etc). I reckon there are plenty of leopard in the Park ...they just like the heavily persecuted Caracal dont show themselves at all.


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 Post subject: Cheetahs at MZNP caught their first prey
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:18 pm 
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Location: Mountain Zebra NP
The two female cheetahs (16 months old)that were released into the wild on the 29th May 2007 caught their first known prey this morning. Four days after their release they did not make a kill yet and I boosted their energy levels by carrying a carcass up the mountain to them. They are currently occupying the Salpeterkop mountain in the northern section of the park.

Today seven days later they made their first known kill during the early morning hours in the park. An adult mountain reedbuck ram was killed on the southern slope of Salpeterkop, about two thirds up the mountain.

We were concerned that they might be a little bit too young to hunt by themselves, and that we may need to supplement their diet in the veld with a carcass now and then, but they proved us wrong. They got the capability to hunt independantly. The two cheetah will be monitored daily for the next few weeks to determine their movements.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheetahs at MZNP caught their first prey
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Mountain Zebra Guru wrote:
<...> adult mountain reedbuck ram was killed <...> We were concerned that they might be a little bit too young to hunt by themselves <...>

Hm, 16 mos would seem a bit young, but assuming the reedbuck was healthy and fit, me thinks you need not worry anymore! :wink: I happen to have first hand experience with "the first kill after release" anxiety, and so I think this is super news!!
Well done, spotted ladies! :D Congrats MZNP!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:59 pm 
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And here's the pic-courtesy of our Guru

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Thanks!

Dianne

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 Post subject: Uncommon mtn reedbuck as prey to cheetah
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:26 am 
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Location: Mountain Zebra NP
Bush Baptist wrote:
Great news, pity it had to be the uncommon reedbuck


Hi BB, the mountain reedbuck in MZNP is definately not an uncommon species. They are the 2nd most abandunt spp in the park, the most common is of course the springbok. They also occupy all the different habitat types in the park and can be found on high as well as low altitudes. They can not run as fast as springbok and that may be the reason why the cheetah prefer to take mtn reedbuck.

The cheetah at Samara Nature Reserve ,not far from us, experienced the same phenomona where they spend most of their time in mountainous areas catching mtn reedbuck and young kudu. People tend to associate cheetah with plains and grassland areas, but in the arid areas of the EC cheetah tend to adopt a totally different modus operandi to catch their prey. I am sure the same will happen here, especially the female,s that will live solitary lives when they reach adulthood, will take the easier route in getting a meal ie. slower moving animals in terrain with enough ambush sites in the form of rocks and shrubs.


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 Post subject: Re: Uncommon mtn reedbuck as prey to cheetah
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Mountain Zebra Guru wrote:
Bush Baptist wrote:
Great news, pity it had to be the uncommon reedbuck


Hi BB, the mountain reedbuck in MZNP is definately not an uncommon species. They are the 2nd most abandunt spp in the park, the most common is of course the springbok. They also occupy all the different habitat types in the park and can be found on high as well as low altitudes. They can not run as fast as springbok and that may be the reason why the cheetah prefer to take mtn reedbuck.

.


The Mountain Reed Buck or Rooiribok is the most common buck in the Mountains of the Eastern Cape and adjaacent hills and its not unusual to see over 100 during an afternoon walk through a farm. In windy conditions you wont see many or even none as they lie down in the wind... They have a distinct rocking horse gait as they run down the hill when pursued. Farmers who keep there numbers up have far less problem with Caracal as the Caracal's chief prey apart from game Birds is baby Mountain reedbuck. Common Reedbuck are not found in MZNP as far as I know because it is totally wrong environment for normal Reedbuck


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 Post subject: Buffalo Bulls fight to death
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Two buffalo bulls were fighting in Mountain Zebra National Park over the past weekend. It seems they were equally matched because they both died with horns twisted together. This happened along the Ubejane Loop.Quite a rare occurrence...

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:56 am 
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Will the cheetahs be able to find them and eat them?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:50 am 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
The deer we have in Europe have antlers with many points, so this lockup does happen fairly often. These buffs though have very simple horns! How did they ever manage to lock them? :shock:

Cause of death is thirst I presume?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:33 pm 
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Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
There are, of course, Black-backed Jackal which may feed off the carcass. The problem would be the lack of larger scavengers such as Hyena or the larger vultures species such as Lappet-faced or Cape Griffon to open up the carcass to provide access to the smaller animals. In the end, it falls to the horn and skin beetles that really clean the carcass.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:10 pm 
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Incredible. I am very curious as well as to the cause of death, exhaustion, wounds????


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:54 pm 
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Location: Somewhere south of Gariep River
GrantM wrote:
Incredible. I am very curious as well as to the cause of death, exhaustion, wounds????


No obvious fatal wounds - thus, the most probable cause of death: thirst.

There are no hyenas in the MZNP, jackals and aardwolf however may scavenge on the carcasses. The nearest vulture colonies are a little too far off. I doubt if the cheetahs will scavenge - the females were seen on Salpeterkop where they hunted for themselves and the males are still in the holding enclosures. Nature will have to go its way in "disposing" of the remains of the two bulls.

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 Post subject: Cause of death
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:21 am 
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Location: Mountain Zebra NP
The cause of death was most probably a combination of trauma and exhaustion. They did not died of thirst because I drove the Ubejane loop the day before and the incident did not occur by then. The carcasses was reported the following day. The one buffalo had a would in the chest that is not visible on the photographs. Lung fluid was excreted out of the wound. The other buffalo (almost weighing a ton and in a peculiar postion) couldn't find it possible to get his horns unlocked from his "enemy" and died just a few hours later.Large animals like buffalo and even eland can put up massive fights that can carry on for hours. This puts a lot of trauma and stress on the animals and if internal organ damage occur it can be fatal. A previous incident ,two years ago, occured in the same area, but the one buffalo survived while his opponent died with a wound straight into the heart area. If buffalo fight then it is normally to prove dominance in the herd. As social animals that form large herds buffalo normally do not tend to fight, and if so not to death.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:57 pm 
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I wonder why Mountain Zebra is not more popular. We went last year and spend only one day in the park.

I have to say that we went there because we were going to Graff-Renet to visit some friends, so we decided it would be a nice idea to spend the day there... and we were very surprised of the big amount of animals we saw...

We didn's see any of the big 5, but why is it this list so important? the big amount of different types of antelops or this kind of animals were amasing... and the best, we saw there something we hadn't seen in anyother park, an Aardwolf

Here it is, after the wild dogs we saw in KNP, this was the second best:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:32 pm 
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Wow, that's a damn good sighting, pirata. I really envy you. Thanks for sharing. I really should take Mountain Zebra on our list for 2009 when we want to take on the smaller parks.


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