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 Post subject: Feeding Animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:01 pm 
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Having Wildtuinman and Twoboy in mind, we're in for some interesting discussions on this one! First of all - Please guys, I'm not guilty of this, we budget for take away meals. Don't want to tempt the kids into feeding animals.
If you're a camper - you've witnessed it. That's why the fence spots are usually taken first.
What are your opinions on this.


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 Post subject: Animal Feeders
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:37 pm 
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:lol: Nice one Santie,

The problem with feeding animals is that you as feeder teach them to get easy food. Next thing is they stop catching prey themselves and they then make a great effort to get into the camps for food. That is why you'll see hyeanas in the camps!

They also loose their fear for humans, which mainly protect us most, as they will in normal circumstances, rather flee than attack. Now they are used to us and associate us with food. Big trouble!

What also happens down the line is that the poor animal will get shot by park personnel as it gets classified as a problem animal. So to summarize. If you feed an animal you'll eventually kill it. Simple as that! Read the warnings on the fences. It states this clearly.

I have once seen at Skukuza in 2003, how a South African sticked her hand through the fence to try and pet a Hyeana. Luckily for her we managed to pull her back. She was absolutely stunned :o when I told her that if she would like to live the rest of her life with one hand that it would be a good idea to pet a hyeana as it is probably the one animal in Kruger that will do the most damage with a bite than any other.

The pressure that thing puts into a bite is, I think, only second to that of a croc. The scary thing was that she did not believe me.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:39 pm 
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AH!! This should get some "healthy" discussion going.

In most camps the "feeders" are targeting the Hyena at the fence but in Letaba the Bushbuck are also part of this practice. During our last visit we saw people laying out beautiful fruit salads for the animals. One ewe even came right up to our kitchen "begging" for food. Then you also get those feeding them to get the better photo opportunity.

I wonder what all those signs "DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS" mean. Surely they don't mean that people should not feed the animals? :wink:

One other thing. Years back, when you came across a troop of baboons they used to climb all over the car trying to get so food from the people inside. Sometimes the culprit will sit on the roof while the car is moving forward. Have not seen this behaviour in the past couple of years. Anyone noted the same? Possibly because of less people feeding them?


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 Post subject: Feeders
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:51 pm 
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At the lookout point just past Olifants offramp coming from Letaba you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll find vervets there begging for food.

August 2004 one climbed into our car as we were admiring the beautifull scenery. So a bit of advice: Keep your windows closed at that spot.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:37 pm 
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I think there's a time, a place and an occasion for watching animals over a fence being hand-fed. The time is 10:30am, the place is the zoo and the occasion is the chimpanzee's tea party.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:42 pm 
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I've seen vervets, baboons, hyenas, ground hornbills, bushbuck and the ever present "bird beggars" begging for food. We have 3 video clips taken in September ALONE of how dangerous these animals can become.
1. At Afsaal we were eating sugared dried fruit. My husband opened his packet and almost immediately a vervet was sitting behind me on one of those small round tables. I got the camera into action, and filmed the pest actually trying to grab the packet from his hands! What if this had happened to a child?
2. At Nkuhlu we were there quite early that morning. No baboons. The moment it got busier a troop arrived from the direction of the groundsman's house. This time my husband was filming a female with a baby. Next moment the Alpha Male, the size of a small child, grabbed a packet of rusks from a table where a grown man was unpacking their picnic basket.
Forget about trying to scare the troop away, they only disappeared when the groundsman appeared. Obviously recognizing him?
3. At Skukuza my husband was taking photos of the hyenas. He was sitting very close to the fence, waiting for the animals to pass so he could get a video clip to show the family. He got more than he bargained for. The moment the hyena noticed him it came RIGHT up to the fence, stuck its nose through the fence and sniffed at the camera! He was speechless. Again - what if this had been a child?


Last edited by Guinea Pig on Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Feeders
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:47 pm 
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It seems that Vervets are becomming more of a problem, over New Year they were approaching people to steal food from them. The unwitting people - often foreign tourists - have a first reaction of 'look a the pretty monkey' then it grabs stuff out of their hand and they scream.

At Tshokwane there was a party of mostly Americans, and one young lady was desperate to feed a vervet, even after some one had advised her not to.

We stayed at Lower Sabie and despite the notices not to feed the animals on the fence (with a picture of a Hyena) the hyena was still patroling the fence during the evening.

Sept. 04 at Timbavati picnic area there was a pair of Bush Buck walking around the area accepting food out of people's hands.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:56 pm 
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I doubt there will be any disagreement on this topic- it's just a shame that people who feed animals and thus sign their death warrants can't be sentanced by a court to be the ones to put them down once they become problems. Sounds harsh, but I bet it would stop the behaviour!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:04 pm 
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Sad thing is that it's happening in every park.

While camping at Augrabies one year, the Klipspringers were as tame as pets and a Springbok came right up to me sniffing for food over me.

Some of these animals were breed in captivity and it took the trainers so long to get them to catch their own food and fit in with the wild again.

Now stupid :evil:, ignorant people go and feed them.

I won't mind if an animal tries to take a bit of a chew on them :)


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 Post subject: Animal Feeders
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:28 pm 
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Like they say, A fed animal is a dead animal. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Animal Feeders
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:16 pm 
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Stopped off to make some brekkie at Nkhulu camp when we were there. A big bus full of tourists arrived at about the same time. It seems the monkeys know what foreigners look like too. They were all over them in seconds and much of the fruit from their padkos was being distributed up a tree. Needless to say that for the tourists it was very amusing and while they didn't necessarily want to give the monkeys their food there wasn't much they could do to stop them. Unfortunatly there is very little that can be done with the situation as monkeys don't need to be invited to lunch and where there is food there will be monkeys. As long as it is isolated to a couple of locations its not too much of a problem. It becomes an issue when we have a tourist jump out of his car to share his hotdog with the big tame lion.
The tame bushbuck at Letabe camp are also great. While I understand that a bushbuck male should be approached with caution, the females are already tame. They live in the camp now and I don't think letting the guests in the camp feed them is going to create major havok. Actually Kruger should maybe provide a kind of kids hands on tour where they can feed these bushbuck in the controlled enviroment of the camp and under supervision of a ranger. Atleast it'll get the kids involved as most of them get a bit bored if there isn't an animal every five yards on a drive. Maybe a more interactive approach would get more kids interested in wildlife and the conservation there of.

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 Post subject: Vervets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:05 am 
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An ex girlfriend of mine was bitten on the behind by a vervet in 2001 at Tshokwane. Luckily for her it did not break the skin.


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 Post subject: Re: Vervets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:29 am 
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Ouch :cry:

Have you actually seen how adapt these monkeys have become in the Camps.

My wife and I were sitting next to the river in Skukuza and watched the monkeys fooling around in the trees.

This female came past us on her way to the dustbin. She lifted the lid had a look inside, found nothing and put the lid back on.

We thought this was very amusing. I should have taken her back with us to teach a few other people lessons on cleanliness.


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 Post subject: vervets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:37 am 
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They are highly intelligent creatures. I had to chase them several times from a fellow camper's caravan at skukuza where they managed to gain entry into his tent by somehow getting the zip to slide.

They knew there was fruit inside and they got it. I have also notice another camper shooting at them with a "kettie". Was not sure what to think of that. Maybe he should not take law into his own hands? don't know.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:07 am 
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Speaking of the lighter side. People do have the strangest ways of getting rid of vervets. The "kettie" idea actually works. A guy showed us at Swadini! If it's the right thing to do - not sure. The vervets are not impressed though. We often visit "TO Strand" 10km from Port Edward where vervets are a massive problem. There the cleaners take to throwing them with whatever's at hand! :D You can imagine the results, but again, it seems like the animals "recognize" the cleaners. Chances are bigger that they would disappear after an encounter with a cleaner's bucket, than with one thrown by a holiday-maker!
I've seen someone throw a whole glass of orange juice at a baboon at Nkuhlu. They said baboons hate sticky coats :?: :!:


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