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 Post subject: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Location: Gauteng
I am sure everybody going to the park also regularly encounter what we call in Afrikaans a 'Klipleeu' or 'StompHiena' The first day In the park I allways see at least five rocks that look EXACTLY like a member of the cat family...
The best was actually when we arived at the park with Dutch friends and nobody had their binoculars or camera's out yet. We stopped at what looked like a hyena which turned out to be a big old rock, but what happened next is probably one of the luckiest moments in my KNP visiting 'carreer'!
In the comotion of getting binoculars and camera's out to take a pic of the 'hyena...' a leopard jumped out from somewhere (I was still busy organising biltong, chips etc) and all i saw was two big back feet and a long spotted tail disapearing into the bush... I often make myself crazy wondering past how many animals like this i drive on a six hour trip...
There's another embarasing incident involving wild dogs but that's another story!


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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Spinnekop, my SO and son, bless their hearts, sat for hours - I kid you not, watching a 'leopard' at a waterhole through binocs. They could clearly see the ears, and face and spots.

And the leopard never moved. We have the conversation on record on the video as the camera rolled on and on waiting for the said leopard to make a move.

Finally ... finally, they agreed it was a piece of dung :slap:

I could also share another tale about SO - also recorded on video, of a 'lion' sighting, but I won't. I need him to let me sit on the passenger seat next week while he drives to KNP. Don't want to find him setting off sans moi :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Location: Cumbria UK
We also sat with baited breath as we watched a croc move slowly, ever so slowly towards a turtle on a rock. We were convinced we would see an attack....20 mins later we eventually decided it was being stalked by a floating lump of ellie dung!!!!
:redface:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
These are very common on my trips as you can imagine! I refer to them as 'ithoughtisaurus' animals (I thought I saw.....).

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Rock lions are found everywhere :lol:
Our enthusiasm feeds our imagination so we see all these wonderful creatures out there.

Can I share an opposite story with you.??
About 28 years ago we were on our first trip to the Kgalagadi - only staying at Twee Rivieren because we didn't know any better :slap: .
After 5 days we hadn't seen a single predator but lots of termite mound lions.
We drove up towards Mata Mata and a kind soul told us that lions had been sighted at the 14th borehole.
So off we raced, entered the loop and arrived at the waterhole.
No lions, so we travelled on.
About 500 metres further I saw this termite mound in the middle of the river.
As I went past, my SO said "STOP"!!!
Just another termite mound was my reply :redface: .
It turned out to be the most beautiful Black maned lion I had ever seen !! :dance:

So now I stop and inspect termite mounds diligently :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Joao wrote:
At one of our HR meetings some people from our region did duty in Satara and actually got a complaint from visitors that it is unfair that Sanparks place tree stumps and rocks in the veld that give the impression that it is animals.

:wall: :wall:


My mother was totally convinced that the rangers 'had fun' placing rocks/stumps/etc together to imitate animals. I could not convince her that they had better things to do!

Also reminds me that I was told that the piles of dung at the side of the road were the result of rangers going out early in the morning and sweeping dung off the road.......my explanation of rhino middens was greeted with scepticism!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:44 pm 
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I glance in my mirrors when driving.
Its easy to see movement in the corner of your eye.
So I would like to think that I don't miss those crossing just after I drive by.
But the ones in the bush you pass without seeing.
Were not meant to be seen. :whistle:

Last year in July we went with friends to Mopani for a week.
I was the only one in the group that is a regular Kruger visitor and had to teach them how to do proper game spotting.
At Redrocks lookout I scanned the rocks with my trusty binoculars and spotted a Big male lion.
I showed it to them and they all said after 5 minutes that it cant be a lion because a lion wont lie still for that long. :big_eyes:

With a rule for the trip that at least 2 of the 6 people have to see and agree to the sighting.
My lion was over ruled as a rock.
I decided to take a photo and show it to my Dad (He is a lion spotting machine).
With his first glance he confirmed my sighting.
Just to make sure about it me and SO returned to Redrocks on our honeymoon and the klipleeu moved.
It is not there anymore. :hmz:

I was right :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Location: PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA
For some peculiar reason, elephants around Punda have a habit of appearing out of nowhere for me.
Once, there was a huge bull merrily chomping on a bush about 5 metres from the edge of the road.
Problem was the angle I was approaching I couldn't see him but SO did.
We went by him several times as we were looking for something else.
SO finally piped up that I should be careful next time in case the ellie objected to my wizzing by him.
My reaction was "what ellie?".
Just then he stepped out to cross the road.
Another time driving the Mahonie Loop, soon after a burn so it should have been rather easy to see an elephant.
Creeping along scanning the side of the road & looking to stay on the road, didn't see the ellie (again chomping on a small bush) about 6-7 metres from the road.
He didn't hear me & I didn't see him until I was almost beside him.
Then when I turned my head & went OH S?*!#T, I got his attention & he trumpeted & started coming.
Well, I floored it, all the time hoping he would be nice enough to stick to the road & not take any shortcuts in case he had any mischief in mind.
Goes to show you could be looking at something that may look like an animal & turns out to be a rock with ears & then there are animals that you couldn't possibly miss that you don't see until its almost too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:44 am 
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I spot countless 'African WIld Logs' that look exactly like a cheetah sitting up in the grass :slap: :slap:
Still inspect every log though! One day it will be a cheetah! :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Your cheetah will come around soon cheetahkie.
I did not see cheetah for 21 years and out of the blue had the most gorgeous sighting in Dec when we followed two in the road for 40 mins with no other cars.
Since then we had a few more sightings, so they do exist in Kruger.

In terms of klipleeus and such, my SO is convinced she saw a leopard in a tree on the H10 and since then we drive that road every time we go to Kruger and guess what................it is still lying there.
I suppose the other leopards bring it some food and water on a daily basis, cos it has not moved since.
It will have its 10th birthday soon too!!

To answer your other question Spinnekop, we were driving along the Sabie river road a while back and I missed this little turn-off I wanted to take, so 50 m further I turned around to find a leopard in the road where we just passed.
We ended up spending 10 glorious minutes with it.
I think it happens more often than we would like to believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:55 am 
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Spinnekop what a lovely thread :lol: :lol: :lol:

when I go to Kruger with my children, we get used to the stop, stop, stop... oh no, only a rock Lion.

One of my friends stopped for a rock Lion, only to have her car used by a cheetah to hide. She was unaware of it until it darted out and killed an antelope in a bush next to her. She had seen neither the antelope nor the cheetah, she was too busy watching the rock lion.

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:53 pm 
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I am really pleased that we are not the only ones to spot Rhino rocks, lion logs and a fantastic ostrich when we were there last week - it happened to be a bush with a log neck and every time we drove past it,
I was convinced that this is what it was.
My daughter just laughed at me. :lol: :lol:

But last year we were staying at Lower Sabie and had seen nothing all day on our drive down from Tamboti, so we decided to head for hippo pools in the late afternoon.
By this time it had started drizzling and as we left the pools, I "saw" a leopard on top of the rocks on the right hand side.
Now I have to be forgiven as I wear multifocals and it was raining, but it had a spotty head and ears and as I tried to convince my 2 girls that it was a leopard, my older daughter kept saying "it isn't, it is a lion".
This "discussion" went on for a while and eventually I had to concede as there were in fact a lioness and lion lying on the rocks! :slap: :slap:

Now we stop just in case and have a good look. :shock:

I do also have a some great photos taken in my side mirror of the animals that cross behind me, most notably Rhino and Leopard.


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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Location: Physical Address: Vereeniging Gauteng, Wannabe Address: Kruger Park
We once arrived at a Leopard sighting on the gravel Road just outside BnD during sunrise, it was still dark though. There were 2 other cars already there and both of them explained to us where to look. We took out the camera's and :cam: :cam: :cam: :cam: , later another car joined us, but the most awkward silence occured once the sun revealed over time that it was a leopardbranch. It was the most beautiful leopardbranch I've ever seen, nice tail hanging off and it's ears were to cute for words!

What a brilliant sighting. :dance: :dance:

Afterwards we met two of the people who shared the sighting with us at Afsaal and we all just started laughing immediately :redface: :redface:

The next morning that same leopardbranch was still there, we think it might the branch's territory :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:37 pm 
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While sitting on the deck at the Tinga Narina Lodge in Kruger at dusk we noticed what we thought was a Woodland Kingfisher settled for the night on his perch.

Image

Only to discover the next morning that it was in fact a "wooden" Kingfisher! 8)

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Rock Lions and other cases of mistaken identity.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:54 am 
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Location: Physical Address: Vereeniging Gauteng, Wannabe Address: Kruger Park
This was taken a few years back at Leeupan. We were convinced it was a lioness. We stood there for over an hour without it moving, no tail movement etc.

We went back there the next day and she was still lying in the exact position, so unless she was dead, this is without a doubt a 'Rock Lion'

Image

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Croc Bridge 21 -24 Des 2012
Satara 24 -28 Des 2012
Skukuza 28 - 2 Jan 2013
Malelane 2 - 4 Jan 2013

When in doubt, stop and look again.


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