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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:46 am 
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We saw a collard cheetah last weekend at 14th, but she/he (??) was far of under one of the trees.........not sure if you could ever make a positive id!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:56 am 
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Back home after a fantastic 12 days in paradise. Everything is so green, with wonderful flowers all across the park. For all the cheetah addicts here are some updates.
On the evening of 20th Feb we followed two young male cheetah's walking north just after the Dalkeith loop heading towards MM. These two are brothers, so i was informed. Here is one of them in evening light about 18.30

Image


Later in the trip this lone cheetah appeared at Urikarus about 10.30

Image



I have a lot more pics which i am busy working on. Please feel free to ask about the latest condition of roads animal sightings etc.

Kgalagadi rocks.

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Last edited by wildc on Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:55 am 
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Go this reply from Margie and Gus Mills (blue text):




Many thanks for all these wonderful photos of the Kalahari cheetah. This female is indeed Caster. She has 2 brothers Smith and Smit. The three were born north of Nossob camp near Polentswa in Feb 2008. (Their mother is the Marie Draai female that we first saw in 2006 with 4 other biggish cubs.) The 4 (Smith and co) of them slowly moved down the Nossob riverbed and in September 2009 were seem together near Melkvlei, after which time the mother left them (or they left their mother – we are not sure how it works). The 3 siblings then moved up and down the Auob riverbed practising their hunting skills for a whole year before Caster separated from her brothers, probably because she was in oestrus. She gave birth in about April last year and on 23rd January this year she was seen near Kijkij in the Nossob riverbed. Maybe she is going to show her cubs her natal area!?! Unfortunately she now only has 1 cub left – we have no idea what happened to the other one. They certainly move around.

The males that you saw at Sitsas on 29/12/2011 and 14th borehole on 14.10.2011 are Smith and Smit! It will be interesting to find out from our genetic samples whether Smit and Smith have fathered any cubs in the area.

The final female you saw up near Leijersdraai is Polentswa female 1. I only have 1 other photo of her and that was from 2010 when she also had 1 similar sized cub.

We really appreciate your support of this project. We are sadly having to leave the Kalahari next month after 6 years of working on the cheetah, as we now have to write up all the data we have collected. We will be continuing the photographic survey so please send photos if you visit again.

Best wishes

Margie and Gus Mills


So the Cheetah we named the Huntress is Caster

Image

and sad to hear that on of the "little tigers" is dead

Image

Image

The males we saw in October 2011 at 14 Borehole are Caster's brothers, Smith and Smit

Image

Image

Image

Image

The same guys we saw at Sitzas in December 2011

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:07 am 
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:thumbs_up: nice to know Smith and Smit are still alive, I saw them in February 2011 :dance:

and of course, also "my" huntress Caster (Febr. 2011 hunting and before she has cubs) and saw again in January 2012 with only one "tiger" :cry:

thanks a lot for these informations and pictures :D

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Great piece of information Duke, and great pics :thumbs_up: !!

I am very sad though,that Margie and Gus are about to leave the park. It was a real pleasure to cross them from time to time in the park, and have a little chat with them about the cheetahs and all the other animals. I will miss this deeply! :(
Does this mean that the cheetah project is over and that the collars will be removed?

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:36 am 
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When we spoke to Jannie in October 2011, he said that the collars would be removed eventually.
As far as I gathered from Moose's KTP Journal thread, Lisette had got a collar which was programmed
to fall off at a certain date in late March. So she should be without a collar by now. We'll have to go on the
spots to ID our beloved cheetahs from now on. :wink:

Duke, thanks so much for the incredible info about the cheetahs you saw in KTP!
Will use this as a reference in future, if we get to see some cheetahs in October this year. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:16 am 
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Dear All,

It sure will be a sad day for when Gus and Margie leaves the park. At present all collars have been removed from the Cheetah's and only a few has 'drop-off' collars on which is set to fall off at a certain day. The drop ‘off collars do not all fall off on the same day as Gus makes sure he is with his animal and follows it until the collar drops off and then he would retrieve it.
KG

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:40 am 
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:cry: and who will take care of them, help us to ID :(

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi:Cheetah Information
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:44 am 
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Kgalagadi Guru wrote:

Gus makes sure he is with his animal and follows it until the collar drops off and then he would retrieve it.
KG



I was always amazed at how careful Margie and Gus were to erase any track of their passage and how they tried to "protect" their cheetahs.




As for ID, I think we will need to be even more cooperative in the forum to share sightings and check the dots.

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 Post subject: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:15 am 
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I was sad to recently learn that Margie and Gus Mills will soon leave the park.
I was lucky enough to meet them a few times on the roads and chat a little, and I know many other here had this opportunity too.
I was impressed with the way they always seemed so enthusiastic at any sighting, even a bird, after spending so many years in the parks. Once I even thought they were just some other first time tourists in the KTP, as they pointed us toward an owl :D !
They are always ready to share their knowledge about the cheetahs, and always answer all the questions that they must have been asked again and again by people like me :redface: ...

It was also funny to see Margie sweep the sand in order to erase the tracks their car had done going off road :tongue: !

Maybe some of you here have stories about them to share?

Hopefully we will have a new book to read soon about our beloved cheetahs that they have been following for many years!

But the KTP won't be the same without you, Margie and Gus :gflower: !

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Last edited by Pikasso on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:37 am 
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In this life there seem to be people who selflessly dedicate themselves to something which leaves the world a better place, a more knowledgeable place, for the rest of us. I haven't had the privilege of meeting Gus and Margie but I know that they are two such people.

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 Post subject: Re: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:56 pm 
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The first time I met Gus, a number of years ago, was by 'accident', on the Aob river road. My number plate was dangling and he flagged me down, introduced himself as Gus, and found a screwdriver and fixed it. I gathered from the Landy plastered with cheetah posters, that it was Gus Mills. We exchanged cheetah info and parted.

I saw him a few times after that, and waved cheerfully, but the last time was in November last year. We came upon him and Margie tracking a cheetah with 3 cubs far into the dunes near Rooiputs, from the road. That afternoon, we decided to look for the cheetahs and just after Leeudril, we saw the old Landy again, and the cheetah close to the road spying out a pair of springbok. This time we all waited and mum cheetah delivered a meal for her cubs.

If you are looking for cheetah look for the old Landy, but hurry, its charming owners won't be there much longer.

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 Post subject: Re: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Thanks for this thread, Pikasso! :k

We too had the pleasure of meeting the Mills a few times in the park.
And we also enjoyed quizzing them about the cheetahs. I sure hope
there'll be a book one day like the hyena one...

I remember when we had found Durbyl with her then four cubs
in Nossob riverbed on one of our trips. We were looking for them again the next day,
but found Gus and friends of his instead looking for the very same family.
They were delighted to hear that we had seen the 5 cheetahs as they
hadn't been able to make contact for quite a while as Durbyl's collar
had packed up.

A couple of days later we bumped into Gus' friends again on the Auob
side and they told us never to believe the Germans :twisted: as they had finally
found Durbyl but with only three cubs. But I know from other people who
saw them after that that all 4 of them were still around back then.

No idea what happened to them in the meantime though. We never saw
them again on our later trip. And we missed the Mills by minutes in TR on our last,
so we never got the chance to ask about those cheetahs.

Like BB said, it was almost always a piece of cake to find cheetahs when
that particular Landy was around. Not any longer. We'll have to do the
spotting work ourselves again, I guess.

I'll miss not having the chance of meeting Gus and Margie anymore.
To me seeing them was almost as exciting as finding a cheetah itself.
Absolutely lovely and down to earth people. :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Lionspoon wrote:
...never to believe the Germans :twisted:

I have always found Germans to be precise. When a local tells you a sighting is about 5 km down the road, it could be anything from 3 km to 9 km, but when a German tells you "Ve saw it sree point von km from zis spot", you can pace it out!

Lionspoon wrote:
I'll miss not having the chance of meeting Gus and Margie anymore.
To me seeing them was almost as exciting as finding a cheetah itself.
Absolutely lovely and down to earth people. :clap:


Totally agree :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Tribute to Margie and Gus Mills (KTP Cheetah Project).
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:43 pm 
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The guy actually said it with tongue in cheek. :lol:
We had handed over an SD card with photographic proof which he had seen as well. :twisted:

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