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Predators/ open or closed windows?

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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:44 pm
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Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:40 pm Unread post
I find the comments fascinating and agree that we cant read there minds yet as Imberbe points out.

Here's some further thought, when is the degree of breaking your silhouette gone to far, we know if you step out that's not good.

How about the game rangers in Kruger that patrol on bicycles, do they walk past big 5 knowing they will run away, or do they peddle past as gentle as possible knowing that their silhouette is part of the bike. :hmz:

Would a stuffed animal on the tracker seat invoke the same casual lion walk by?

It certainly puts an open window in perspective when considering the other things we do to get up close and personal.

I still have huge respect for the fact that they can switch from placid sleepy cats to alert and dangerous within a blink of an eye.
As for the ellies, my family control how close I get by the anxiety noise volume , a long lens is needed in most cases. :thumbs_up:
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Re: INTRO and opinion on long awaited question

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:00 pm Unread post
Don't ask me what goes on in a lion's or leopard's mind, I don't know, nor does anybody else.
I'm pretty sure, though, that the brighter animals do not see a vehicle as a single unit.
Although the concept of live animals using an inanimate object for transportation is beyond their comprehension, they know and recognize the occupants exactly for what they are.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support this.
To name a few examples:

The don't-poke-the-cat video clip clearly shows that the leopard knew who her tormentor was and how to get at him.

The leopard that jumped onto the back of a bakkie and severely mauled the two guys sitting there did not for a minute think it was attacking the vehicle, it went specifically for the people.
This same leopard had minutes earlier attacked two cyclists, not the bikes they were riding.

I know from personal experience that lions can recognize dogs in vehicles by sight from an amazing distance, even when the dogs are small (designer corgis, in this instance) and only poke their heads out. The vehicle was approaching from downwind, so scent played no role whatsoever.

Man-eating lions in Tanzania have been known to break through the walls of straw huts to get at the people inside.
They clearly understand the hut is not a "unit", but a container holding food in the form of edible humans.

Just like a lion that sees the head of an impala protruding above a bush understands that he is actually seeing an impala behind a bush, not a bush with an impala head, the lion also comprehends that the heads he sees through the car windows belong to the human beings inside, and are not parts of the vehicle itself. The difference is that bushes have been around for as long as there have been lions, whereas cars are the new kids on the block.
Lions have adjusted to the latter amazingly quickly and rationally, as best as their limited intelligence and experience allows.

Johan


Re: INTRO and opinion on long awaited question

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:13 pm Unread post
Johanrebel, I just want to comment on your post and I think it is very interesting.

A few years ago, I did a sponsored walk, which went through Johannesburg Zoo.

Towards the finish we went past the Lion enclosure. A few metres ahead of me a blind person was walking with a dog.

To my astonishment, the Lions, smelt the dog.. and although far away, started stalking the dog. They had murder on their minds.

Humans, just held no attraction.


Predators/ open or closed windows?

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:12 am Unread post
I am always astounded to see people taking photos of nearby predators through open car windows. One memorable occasion was when two male lions were walking down the tar road near LS - one serious photographer (judging by lens length) was driving alongside them and took photos from a completely open window barely a meter away from the one male.

Is this safe? (He was not hanging out the car - so technically no rules broken.) Would the lion still see him and the car as one despite the open window?

I look forward to hearing from the amateur zoologists out there.


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:18 am Unread post
I always do too. Only close the windows for rain or baboons & vervets.


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:19 am Unread post
Ha ha ha, if this was on Sunday July 1st, it could have been us?
A lioness tried to hitch a ride first with me, come running from the riverbed, crossed the road behind us and suddenly appeared again on the driver's side coming at speed straight at us again and again just crossed behind us back to the riverbed.
Both times it happened so quickly we struggled to get the windows closed in time.
And yeah both times it felt like she made eye contact :lol:


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:27 am Unread post
We were near Croc Bridge last November, when we spotted a lovely collared lioness sitting a short distance away in the bush.
Eventually another car pulled up, and we were both enjoying the sighting, when the lioness got up and walked towards us.
We wound up our window, but the other car didn't, and we were horrified to see the old girl made a bee line for that car and let out a really loud roar.
Still the driver of the other car was busy taking photos through the open window, and we were so worried that the lioness would bite off his head!!!
Luckily she eventually moved on to the other side of the road..............but how irresponsible of that person!!!

As soon as a big cat approaches our car, we always wind up, just to be on the safe side. :shock:


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:51 am Unread post
It is difficult to council those people JR!
Some people know the risks, but are just reckless characters. I take some chances :wink:
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Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:57 am Unread post
This one gave me a savage look!
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Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:03 am Unread post
I tend to roll up my window. Depends how far it is from the vehicle...

Eerder Bang Jan as Dooie Jan! :lol:

(Rather safe than sorry.)


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:41 am Unread post
DuQues wrote
I always do too. Only close the windows for rain or baboons & vervets.


:lol: me to!

That said, I once closed the windows about halfway for a young male lion (less than a year old) in the Kgalagadi (KTP). He could obviously see us inside the vehicle (I know this from his behaviour and how his eyes focussed on us), and was interested in what was going on.... :shock:

I've not yet seen a lion in the KNP that is interested in what goes on inside the vehicle, but if anything sticks out (lens, elbow, finger), they immediately focus on it.


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:43 am Unread post
Only close for baboons and predators getting real close


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:39 pm Unread post
DinkyBird wrote
After a show down with an alpha male baboon on the Sabie bridge (he wanted my cheese and spinach muffin :evil: ) I now close windows when baboons and monkeys who are obviously not afraid of humans are close by; and if predators are really close.

I have three times observed a large male baboon hitch a ride on cars on the H12 Bridge.
In Feb on my solo trip, with Petra and Scips, and with Heksie! The same naughty baboon :naughty:


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:29 pm Unread post
In my opinion, one should look at the statistics in order to decide what the appropriate action is when being confronted by a perceived dangerous situation.
I have to read about a large predator plucking a person out of a vehicle or even jumping into a vehicle.
If there were such incidents, it would have been reported world wide because the sensational value of such an incident.

I agree that the baboons and monkeys poses a greater danger than lion lions and leopards, but what are the prevalence of attacks by baboons and/or other animals.
I have read about the primates taking food by force, but serious injuries?

Having said that, if in doubt, close the windows.
Don't try to be a cowboy.
One incident where a person was attacked will dent the image of any park.
Two million visitors may visit a park without incident, and nobody will tell the media about their uneventful visit, but one attack will certainly be on the front pages. (And a full article in 'Die Huisgenoot' :twisted: )


Re: Predators and open windows

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:30 pm Unread post
I also close the window if a predator gets too close, but close the window immediately if i just see baboons in the road. We've had a bunch of them climb onto our car before, they are pretty intimidating creatures when you're up close. (and even more so when you're on foot near them!)

But...
what about game drive vehicles? Not the big ones, but the regular smaller 11 seater ones.
I have experienced a leopard at touching distance next to the vehicle.....and he was completely relaxed.
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