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 Post subject: Bushbuddies' Investigation Continues: Satara, KNP, Feb. '13
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:32 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Foreword

This TR is dedicated to my wonderful and loving husband. He is currently busy with examinations, and examination preparations that can leave one feeling anxious, tired and down-right stressed out! :think:

This is to remind you of happier days in the park, and to remind you that these examinations will be over soon, and then more "investigating" can follow.

I love you! :k

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Last edited by Bushbuddies on Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 1 - The Scene Of The Crime

In February this year, we were sent out on a 48 hour investigation of the Berg-en-Dal area in KNP. It was a spine-chilling, riveting adventure in which we got to meet mafias, femme fatales, brutal killers, the poor victims and the shattered survivors. I delivered you my report (The First 48), and it was decided to send us on another investigation. This time it was to be a full week of investigation at Satara.

Satara has always been one of my favourite places. It is so rich in the criminal factor. The S100-Megamafia has captured many an investigator's attention. It is also home to many a conniving leopard, and even the ever-elusive and fast cheetah. The area is also heavily populated with many unsuspecting families of herbivores who call this there home. And even though it is not seen as a reporter's mecca (such as Pafuri), I always enjoy the birding in the area as well.

But before I start - let me set the scene... The scene of the crime. The place where it all happened...

Satara is an area that gets greeted in the morning with beautiful sunrises:

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And at the end of the day - there are gorgeous sunsets:

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On our visit, it was interesting to note that there was water everywhere! Probably because of the floods earlier this year, even the riverbeds that are usually dry by that time of the year, still had water!

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The impala lilies were in full bloom - and I find it very important to stop and focus even on these little flowers during an investigation. They might have a bit of evidence to give...

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And of course always important to visit the landmarks in the area...

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And at the end of a day of hard investigative work, one should sit back, prepare a fire, and think upon all the evidence collected...

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I have done the investigation, I have evaluated the evidence, my report is to follow... :whistle:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 2

The scene is set. It is Satara. And any investigator worth his salt will know how important the S100 is to the Satara area of investigation. It is like Mitchell's Plain to Cape Town, Hillbrow to Johannesburg - it is where the criminal factor prevails. Many have had awesome discoveries on this road. To others, this is just "a dusty little dirt road" that delivers nothing. Well, we've had a lot of success on this road. Obviously the criminal factor will always try to hide, but if you go slowly, go again and again, and look carefully - I believe you can expose them! 8)

So, knowing this, one of our first morning trips we took, was on the S100. According to sightings boards, the area was "hot" with criminal behaviour. A little bit down the road - and we spotted them in the early morning golden light:

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Could they be part of the famous S100 Mega-Mafia? :hmz: They were deep into the bush, and we could not photograph the encounter well, but something happened that made me believe that this group of 2 ladies with their 5 little ones were actually a part of this Mafia. While walking along, they met up with another group of lions. Mostly young males starting to grow manes, and a few adult females (about 20 that we could see). They greeted each other briefly - especially the females with the other females - but then when the cubs started playing with some of the young males, their mother obviously disapproved, scolded the young males and took their young and left!

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We got the idea that these lions all knew each other, but that the 2 females still wanted to keep their little cubs away from the bigger pride. Who wouldn't want to - a young male lion can only get up to no good, and who wants to expose an impressionable little cub to that! :rtm:

The good thing was that the 2 females walked away from the bigger pride and straight towards the road! :dance:

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And before we knew it, these little bums were walking right in front of us in the road! :D

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It could all have been a diversion... :hmz: The S100-Mega Mafia probably sent these 2 lionesses with their cute little cubs our way to distract our attention! :whistle:

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Well, it worked! We followed them, walking in front of our cars for about 20 minutes down the road. The elephants stationed in the area to help keep the peace, were obviously doing their job well. Once the females spotted them, they stopped and took a big angle around the guy! :lol:

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Well done officer Ellie - make your presence felt! :thumbs_up:

At one point, one of the little cubs got tired and stopped next to the road for a bit of a rest - finally we could get a good mugshot!

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Soon his little brothers and sisters started calling him to join them again...

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...he gave them a look...

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...and joined in again. Around the bend...

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...and off they went!

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They eventually moved off into the bushes to the left. We had probably been with them for about 30 minutes all-in-all, but could find nothing tying them to the crime. But, we could possibly tie them in to a bigger mafia which may be responsible. Some evidence, but was it good evidence...? Maybe we should check and see what the local reporters have to say... 8)

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:56 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 3

As some of you would know from my previous investigations, I find it very important to involve as many species as I can in my investigations. Check with the local reporters, even the international ones. Hear what the forensic team thinks, what the post-mortem delivered. All these add clues and valuable information to make one's investigation much more thorough.

Some of the reporters out there are really sharp. They've got their eyes open - ready to catch the story as it is breaking...

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Pearl-spotted Owlet (Witkoluil)

Others stay up all night, catching the stories as they happen. But then they are useless through the day! :slap:

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African Scops-Owl (Skopsuil)

Some of the reporters go to extreme heights to get an overall view of things...

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Black-shouldered Kite (Blouvalk)

For this case, I decided to get the opinion of 3 different forensic pathologists. The more opinions, I decided, the stronger the case. Unfortunately the young dr. Bateleur was not of much use to me...

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Bateleur (Berghaan)

He is still very young, inexperienced and seems to be quite obsessed about his looks! :slap:

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When I took his picture for this report, he started posing - with his head turned in all the directions...

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....until he was happy that I got a shot of his "good side"!

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Dr. Tawny, on the other hand, told me he was not interested in helping me with a post-mortem. He was much more interested in "fresh" cases... :shock:

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Tawny Eagle (Roofarend)

Finally, I managed to get the expert opinion. The big guy! :D Who better for the case than dr. Lappet?

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Lappet-faced Vulture (Swartaasvoel)

He agreed to help on the case! :D

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And with all the new information and clues - the investigation was starting off just fine! :thumbs_up:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 4

So thus far, we have set the scene, got our first round of suspects, met with some of the local reporters and got some forensic guys on the scene. But what investigation would be thorough without an interview with the family, the victims, the guys who live out there daily in fear of their lives! :shock:

Now Satara is pretty well known, also, for its large herds of buffalo. During our investigation, I met up with a few of the buffalo families...

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They were all very happy to talk to me and gave me all the time I needed.

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Mrs Buff saw me over a cup of tea and told me all about her family while she was chewing away on her grass-cookie. :lol:

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She showed me an old portrait of her father and her uncle, and told me what brave "buffalo soldiers" they were during their time.

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Then she introduced me to her little one - Buffy - tough little calve he is!

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He was busy chatting to his cousin - another beautiful young calve.

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As we were chatting, mr Buff arrived - what a strong character!

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He told me that he would do anything to protect his family - and has been known to induce serious injury on the likes of mafia-members before. Strong guy. I decided to take a mugshot...

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...and move on.

Next up, I interviewed the giraffe family. My first encounter was with this young one in the early morning light. He was not much of a help, and told to me to come back later when his dad was home.

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I did return later to meet mr G Raff. He was quite an imposing character. Not to be racist or anything, but he was really dark. :| I don't think I've ever met as dark a Raff as him before...

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He told me his family has not yet fallen prey to the S100-mafia, although there have been attempts on their lives before. He had no problem "kicking the living daylights out of them" if they ever try again! He was a dark character... :whistle: So I took a mugshot:

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Two impressive families, but both with dangerous father-figures. Won't be messing with those guys! Satara seemed to have a lot of dangerous characters. How many more were waiting to cross our path in this investigation... :hmz:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 5

The next victim crossed our road. We were taking an afternoon drive planning to go up the H1-4 and then up the S90, back via the S41 and S100. But just as we started on the S90, I saw quite a collection of cars in the distance, higher up on the H1-4. Like any investigator, I got suspicious... :hmz: And I guess just plain curious! :tongue: What was all the commotion about? SO and I decided to turn around and rather go up the H1-4.

And there we got our next suspect....

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Struggling to find her? To be honest - so did we - initially... :mrgreen: It was a quite far off in a huge tree - let me try and show you:

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Lady Leopard! She was lying in this huge tree, quite a distance from the road. It was not long until she made her first move... :big_eyes:

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She started moving to branches lower down. I was ready to take her mugshot... :cam:

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Then she decided to stay put again. At least now a little bit more visible.

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She was not going to come down for an interview... :slap: We decided to move on, up the H1-4.

About an hour and a half later, we passed the same spot down to get back to Satara again. And would you have guessed it - she was still there!

Shortly after we arrived, she attempted to make her way down again...

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....but it was just to high for this scared kitty! :tongue:

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And she decided to remain put!

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It was after 16:30 when we decided to leave her, and returned to camp.

The next morning we drove to the Timbavati picnic site for breakfast via the H7. When we returned via the H1-4 at about 11:00 the next morning, the little lady was still up in her tree!

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And what is even better - I read reports that people still spotted her in the same spot that afternoon! :shock: This taught me a new lesson. I always thought that leopards don't stay in the same tree for long. You know - why would a suspect hang around the same hiding spot for days on end? No - I learnt that if the tree is high enough and the kitty scared enough - they can remain in that tree for a LOOOONG time! :tongue:

Luckily the next morning, she was gone. I was seriously thinking of getting the fire brigade in to come and get her out of the tree!

So this was our first encounter with the leopard family in this investigation - Lady Leopard. We learned that she was probably not the bravest kitty in her family :redface: , but then again - maybe it was all an act! We never got up close to interview her - so who knows... :whistle:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 6

Now I have noticed that we have a few "non-believers" on board. I am, of course, referring to the belief that the S100 is a good road for getting hold of those catty criminals - especially, the S100 Mega-mafia. So I decided to present you all with some more evidence... :rtm:

During our investigation, we started wondering about the activity that might be happening in the area at night-time. A lot of the killings were happening during the dark hours of the day, and we felt that these hours needed investigating. So we booked for a night drive.

Earlier that afternoon, word got out that some S100-Mafia members were out and about again. SMS'es were sent, people were phoning each other and the sightings board confirmed it all. So off we went to investigate. And we found them - as I said before - on the S100. :tongue:

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They were lying in an open area, a distance from the road, but one could still see them. Every now and then, one would get up and move to a more comfortable spot, and then the cameras would flash! :cam: The one young male got up...

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...walked in our direction in search of a more comfy spot...

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...and eventually found it!

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The sun was setting, and we had to head back to the gate - we took our last picture of some of his fellow Mafia-members.

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I could not be fooled by their act of innocence. :naughty: We headed home, had a quick braai, cleaned up, and at 20:00 we were ready to go on our night drive, wondering if the S100-Mafia would still be around... :hmz:

Once we got out of the gates, the guide turned South. Next turn left. That's right - she turned left onto the S100! :dance:

And luckily, they were still there! :dance: But now, not so sleepy anymore.

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They started with typical gang-activities. Getting up, hugging and kissing each other like true mafia-members!

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We were now seeing their true colours - they were kicking off the night with a party! :twisted:

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They didn't go over into action during the time we spent with them. It was obvious that they were trying to stay on their best behaviour with us around. So we left.

But... we did find more suspects that evening. Not 1, not 2 but 3 sightings of the Civets! :dance: These are gang members with notorious activity at night-time. Petty crime mostly - but crime is crime! :rtm:

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Unfortunately he sniffed out our investigative team...

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...and ran into hiding.

This all happened on a 2 hour long night drive from Satara on the S100. A valuable time and place to do some investigative work, if you ask me! :thumbs_up: The evidence found increased even some more! :D

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:06 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 7

Okay - I'll be honest. The bushbuddies took on this job in Satara for a week, yet our full attention could not be given to the investigation. I should rephrase - Mr Bushbuddy's full attention was not on this investigation. You see - he had this huge exam to prepare for, and therefor had to put some time aside for studies. Most mornings we went out and about our investigating duties at gate opening time and returned at about 10:30/11:00. Once the day's work has been studied, we'd go out again at about 16:00 and return at gate closing time.

Luckily I did not have to study... :D So my investigative work continued! 8) A question that always arises at a crime scene, is whether it could've been an inside job... :hmz: So I investigated the "inside" of Satara during these "study intervals".

Reporters this time of year, were mostly locals - such as this Wattled Starling (Lelspreeu):

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The Black-collared Barbet (Rooikophoutkapper) wasn't of much use to me - he was just munching away at all the good food they have inside!

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Luckily his cousin, the Crested Barbet (Kuifkophoutkapper) was always willing to trrrrrrrrell me his side of the story.

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The African Mourning Doves (Rooioogtortelduiwe), were found everywhere, walking slowly, mourning the passing of the victims.

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On the other hand the jolly lot of Green Wood-Hoopoes (Rooibekkakelaars) were continuing as nothing happened...

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...Catching a bite on every treetrunk as they went along.

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The Crested Francolins (Bospatryse) were very friendly, never having a problem to tell me their point of view on the matter.

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This Cardinal Woodpecker (Kardinaalspeg) was trying to find a new home and settle down in the area. I always look at newcommers with a bit of suspicion... :hmz:

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But reporters and mourners were not all I found on the inside. I also found some 4 footed creatures... :whistle:

These guys just looked too friendly to be involved in anything criminal! :D

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But if you see signs like these around you start wondering about the innocence of the mentioned animals! :rtm:

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Actually, we did come across one of these animals this year. For years we have heard about the notorious Badger Gang inside Satara, but we've never seen them. That was about to change. We would search untill we found them. :sniper: Every morning we found our bin overturned and emptied of all the goodies. This alerted us that the gang was there, and active as can be! So after our night drive, two very friendly folks (also from Pretoria :wink: ) asked us if we've seen the Badgers. On our reply that we were still looking for them, they actually took us to their den! So there we were at 22:30 at night, with our flashlights, lying on our stomachs in winterleaves lying in the culvert looking underneath the road - and we finally found them! Later in the morning hours, they came to throw our bin over again. This time we heard them - got up and saw them just in time to catch them running to the neighbour's bin. Caught in the act! Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera, they were gone. We had no evidence! :| Next time, Badgers, next time! :twisted:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Centurion
Chapter 8

I do hope that I'm not boring all of you with all the interviews I had with the feathered guys in this investigation, but I have to give you all the evidence that I collected. And this includes some special interviews and not often seen evidence.

One morning, we drove North to collect more info from the Olifants-region. While driving there, we crossed a little stream, and for the first time I managed to get a close up interview with one of the fastest, busiest little reporters in the field - the Three-banded Plover (Driebandstrandkiewiet).

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There were two of them, and they were running this way and that way alongside our vehicle, while I was doing my utmost best to just get a mugshot! :cam:

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And trying to get that perfect shot with the light in their eyes seemed almost impossible!

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I was still trying my best to try and capture these lovely little reporters on film, when I heard the strangest call from a tree right above us! :shock: All of the time I was trying to get these two little reporters to stand still and tell me what info they had, they were actually running around telling me to look up! :slap:

You see, in the tree right above them - was this suspect, now calling!

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Mrs Martial Eagle (Breekoparend), in the open for all to see. While photographing this very dangerous and ruthless suspect, I heard the call again! But she did not even open her beak! :shock: It's only then that I realised she was not alone...

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Mr Martial Eagle was with her and they were building a nest! :dance: But mr M Eagle had other plans in mind...

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Before we knew it - he was on top of Mrs M Eagle... :big_eyes:

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Indescent acts followed... :whistle:

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..and I got all the evidence on :cam: :D

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Afterwards mr M Eagle flew off, and left the mrs all by herself by the nest.

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_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Last edited by Bushbuddies on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:27 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 9

It is time to shift this investigation over to the "big guys", the "untouchables"...The guys out there that the leopard-family and the S100-mafia won't even think of trying to pull down. In a way - pillars in the society around Satara.

First up - I tried to go and talk to the Hippo-family. I eventually found them lying on the banks of the Olifantsriver.

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They were just the most relaxed bunch! You can just see they have no worry in the world about the gang-activities in the area - they just laze around in the pools! :whistle:

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They would not be of much help here... :slap: So I remembered the Elephant on the S100, and how scared the mafia was of the big guy - walking circles around him. The Elephant-family would be next! I found them, drinking peacefully along this riverbank.

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What a beautiful scene!

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They directed me to the Big Boss. They showed me a picture of him and sent me in his direction:

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With his majorly worn-down right tusk, he was easy to find - I immediately recognised him when we spotted him.

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He told us all he knew about the mafia, and all the godfathers that have reigned over his lifetime. This was a wise old man - and he shared many a helpful fact with us on the investigation. Thanks Big Boss! :gflower:

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The next big guys on my list - were the rhino family. Now these guys have been evading the local gangs for years! So an interview with them would also be of a lot of help!

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This first guy was rather evasive. I realised that he was very different to the Elephant and Hippo families. Not as relaxed. But why... :hmz:

Luckily I got another rhino later on - and he was willing to give me more info! :D

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He told me how strong his kind was, and how they have managed to keep a fear amongst the gangs towards them, because of their large horns...

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...but lately, it seems this symbol of strength has become a point of weakness as well! :| Invaders to the area have been coming in and slaughtering them for their most prized horns. :( Not any of the local gangs, but a foreign species that they are defenseless against! :sniper:

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I reassured him that there were a lot of detectives and law enforcers out there trying to help them, and that we will not stop fighting for their freedom in their country! :thumbs_up:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:13 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
I'm currently sitting in Durban, writing you this episode from the garden of the guesthouse where we are staying while SO is doing his LAST exam this morning. When he comes back, he'll have another episode to read to help him destress before he goes and checks the results tonight... :whistle:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Last edited by Bushbuddies on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:46 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 10

Now all of this investigating can make one tired. Interviews around every corner, speaking to families, looking into suspects, it can even get emotional at times! :| So to keep your mind fresh and clear it is sometimes good for a detective to take a break and rejuvenate the soul. We decided to do just that one afternoon, and parked our car at Gudzani Dam at the end of our stretch on the S100. We took out a juicebox and laid back, just enjoying the relaxed atmosphere at the water. I was sitting on the backseat as per usual. I was leaning back with my feet in the air, listening to the sounds of the bush through my open window. After a few minutes, SO wanted to leave. I asked him to stay just a few more minutes. It could not have been 2 minutes later when he shouted: "A Leopard!!! There is a huge leopard walking right next to us!" :shock:

It walked so softly - one could not even hear it. You can only imagine the commotion in the car... :lol: We were both lying back, just relaxing - SO actually just saw the top part of the back of the leopard as it passed our car. We both jumped up, I grabbed for the camera. At least I could manage to get a few shots as he was walking off into the bush...

Image

Image

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Can you believe it. :dance: We were sitting all by ourself, just relaxing, and a huge male walked right by our car. It was all over in a few seconds, and we almost didn't see it! :whistle: But with the criminal mindset and history of this beast, I was just too glad he did not decide to jump in my window... :big_eyes:

Okay - so no more relaxing! We're on a crime scene for goodness sake! :slap: Need to get these suspects! :rtm:

Further interviews confirmed my suspicions on the leopard family. Mr Steen Bok confirmed that he has lost both his mother and cousin to leopard attacks...

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...and even the shy mr Duiker stopped to tell me that his family had fallen victim as well.

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After this - the search was on to find more of these leopards... :rtm: It seemed as if many were operating in this area! And my suspicions were confirmed. Not only was there Lady Leopard in her high tree, and the sneaky leopard at Gudzani, but we also caught a quick glimpse of two more on the road down to Tshokwane.

The first was easier to get mugshots of...

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It was early morning, and she was probably planning her day whilest looking over her territory from a vantage point.

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She seemed peaceful enough to approach for a quick interview...

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...but as I asked my first questions, she ignored me, got up and left!

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The next leopard, we decided not to even bother with. He was up in a tree, not really in good visibility and with lots of traffic around. :slap: So I took a quick shot :cam: , and we moved on.

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And so we got to find and capture ( :cam: ) 4 of the leopards in the area. Hopefully now the Bokkies and Duikers can sleep in peace. Or can they....? :whistle:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
And a big :congrats: is in order!!!!

It seems all the days of studying in Satara (and all the other days over the last 4 years), have paid off. My hubby passed all his exams! :dance: :dance: :dance:

So proud of you! :k

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 11

In any high profile case, such as this one, you always get hoards of reporters hanging around, ready to get the latest gossip, the newest tipoff, and the breaking story. Seeing as it was winter, most of the reporters were locals. Let me introduce you to the guys and girls from the press - the ones who report and spread the news out there.

Pretoria's Pretoria News sent out their Burchal's Coucal (Gewone Vleiloerie) to come and check on the latest developments.

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While the Freestate's Volksblad asked their local reporters, the Ground Hornbills (Bromvoels) to send them all the details.

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And they really reports from all the angles!

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I was quite surprised to see that Fair Lady sent some beautiful Lilac-breasted Rollers (Troupante) to come and get the story.

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By looking at these reporters, I could not help but wonder how much of the story would be about the story, and how much would be about the latest winter fashions... :slap:

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Maybe even worse, was the fact that Huisgenoot/You/Drum magazine sent someone...

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You just know that with the Brown-headed Parrot (Bruinkoppapegaai), it's gonna be gossip all the way! :whistle:

At least there were also more serious reporters, like this Double-banded Sandgrouse (Dubbelbandsandpatrys) in his nice suit, reporting for the Business Day.

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Some of the papers, like the Sunday Times, sent out groups of reporters - from Magpie Shrikes (Langstertlaksmanne) to Buffalo Weavers (Buffelwewers) - to make sure all the angles are covered.

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The big Afrikaans newspaper, Beeld, sent their big-shot reporter - Kori Bustard (Gompou).

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While their sister-newspaper, Rapport, asked the Kori's younger cousin, Red-crested Korhaan (Boskorhaan), to report for them.

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The Sowetan got the Black-headed Oriole (Swartkopwielewaal) in his snazzy yellow suit to report for them.

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And the Mail and Guardian also got a reporter in a nice black suit - the Red-winged Starling (Rooivlerkspreeu).

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The guys from the Cape Townian newspaper, Die Burger, has always had a love for fishing. So they called on the Brown-hooded Kingfisher to help on their reports.

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Those from the Eastern Cape love fishing as well, but they could only manage to get a smaller Kingfisher to help The Herald - the Striped Kingfisher (Gestreepte Visvanger).

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The Green Pigeon (Papegaaiduif) flew up all the way from Durban to report for The Mercury.

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Now these were the common reporters spotted out there in the field, reporting for their respective newspapers or magazines. There were, however, a few rarities out there... Birds not so commonly seen - spies... 8) I'll tell you more about them at a later stage...

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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 Post subject: Re: The Investigation Continues: Satara
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 1191
Location: Centurion
Chapter 12

I ended off the last episode hinting to the possibility of spies out there. And now I bring you the evidence. I say these guys are spies for good reason. They are not often seen... 8) They hide and camouflage themselves in such a way - that nobody ever sees them! :shock: But, they will not hide from the face of this investigation... :naughty: No - detectives Bushbuddies were there - ready to find them and get the proof :cam: that they do exist, and are found on the scene!

The first sighting was quite special for us. It was our 10th wedding anniversary! :dance: We were driving down to Skukuza, when at the H12 bridge we stopped and looked over the river to see if we could find any special sightings. A few memories came to mind... The first was of the otter we once saw there, playing in the water - it was such a special sighting. Then I also remembered the one morning drive we took up there with Martie from Lower Sabie - it must have been 3 or 4 years ago. She still stopped and asked us to keep an eye out for African Finfoots. Somebody had reportedly seen some there, and she was yet to see this rare bird. We were not serious birders then and didn't even know what it looked like! We didn't see it, and we drove off. Martie believed it was a myth... Back at camp I checked in the birdbook - a "Watertrapper" - she could not remember the Afrikaans name on the drive.

Funny that I remembered that day so well, and even the bird's name... :hmz: Because this morning, this is what we spotted in the Sabie river below:

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An African Finfoot! No myth, Martie, the spy does live here! 8)

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We watched as it swam from the reeds on the one side of the river to the other side's reeds.

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And also as it disappeared in the reeds again as it went back "undercover"...

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Some special inside info revealed on our anniversary - we were really greatful! :D

The next spy we came across was reported to be hanging out at Ngotso Dam - between Satara and Olifants. We heard of these reports, but could not find him the first time we went. Two days later, we returned and there he was - out in the open, but quite a distance from the road. Very cropped pics - but at least proof that we did manage to find this spy:

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And you never thought you'd see these Greater Flamingos (Grootflamink) in KNP! Think again - they are there - spies sent from across the waters... 8)

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The last of these unusual sightings we had, was of a father and son pair. It is not often that you see James Bond parading around with his son now, do you? :whistle:

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Yet, here was old Saddle-billed Stork (Saalbekooievaar), parading around with Junior in broad daylight!

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One could see he was obviously looking after him, and making sure he was safe at all times!

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I always knew James Bond had to have a son. I mean really - with so many girlfriends and all... :whistle:

_________________
19 June - Skukuza
20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


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