SOME OBSERVATIONS IN THE EARLY DAYS
Stevenson - Hamilton noticed that although game numbers had been greatly depleted, the population steadily recovered when the season was right and the veld was good. The only mammal that was completely lost was the Black ( Hook Lipped ) Rhino.
He also noted that upon his arrival that Elephant and Eland had disappeared from the Sabi G R but later came back from the Mozambican Territory, and that in the proclaimation year ( 1926 ) there already was more than 100 elephants in KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.
Nyala were still to be found north of the Shingwedzi River.
Herbivore species that recovered well from either immigrating from Moazambique and breeding. Some of the species were the Roan and Sable Antelope, Kudu , Reedbuck, Warthog, Buffalo, Waterbuck, Steenbuck, Zebra, Giraffe, Sharpes Grysbok, Impala, Bushbuck, Bushpig and Blue Wildebeest.
Animals also often seen were Ant-bear, Pangolin, Porcupine and Cane Rat.
Badgers were also seen, one day while out on patrol, accompanied by four dogs, the dogs rushed into the thickets and there was lot of growling and yelping. He followed and in a clearing he saw that the four dogs had tackled a Badger, each had the Badger by the a leg, with the Badger suspended in the air with the head hanging loose, twisting and turning to get hold of a piece of dog. every now and then it got hold of a piece of dog. The dogs were badly bitten and bleeding, eventually they gave up and let go except for the cross bred Irish Terrier which had the Badger down and at its throat, only untill the badger got hold of the one front paw. the Terrier let go and got its front paw freed, and ran off on three legs, yelping.
The Badger got up, shook itself together and trotted off ,unconerned also appearing to be unhurt, tail in the air, as if nothing had happened.
Badgers have a very thick hard fur and also a thick tough skin, apparantly making then virtually immune to injury from bites and stings. They aren't only tough but also are equipped with a set of sharp teeth and a formidable set of canines making it a formidable opponent.
Carnivores to be seen were Lion, Leopard, Cape Hunting dog, Large and Small Spotted Genet, Spotted and Brown Hyeana, Black Backed and Side Striped Jackals, Serval, Caracal, Civet, African Wild Cat (Felis Ocreata ) as well as Cheetah. The bigger cats were seen mainly in the areas of the larger prey herbivores.
Crocodiles , Hippo and Otters were to be seen in the rivers. Various bat species were seen in the dusk.Vervets, Sykes Monkeys and Chacma Baboons were also seen.
Disease took its toll on weak and sick animals, a sure sign was a thin animal and then closer inspection revealed the animal would be covered with ticks.
Dipping cattle and goats in the areas adjoining the KRUGER NATIONAL PARKS, against external parasites was effective, but unfortunately seemed to have killed off the White Egrets and other tick feeding birds. This in turn resulted in a population explosion in the tick population in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK as the balance had been disturbed, tick infestation caused some heavy losses of weakened animals especially during the drier seasons . . . . . . . however the scavengers being the Hyeanas, Jackals, Vultures and Marabous also have their part to play in Natures chain.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
Convenor of the AIKONA Group.
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
Done 142 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.
Last edited by gmlsmit on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.