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Jumbo & an AWC named Croc June 2006

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Jumbo & an AWC named Croc June 2006

Unread post by Jumbo » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:22 am

On Sunday morning we decided to go for a short drive in Kruger. Just before 6 am we were at Crocodile Bridge and there were already several cars in front of us. As the gates opened and I started driving my SO yelled out, warning me about a cat in the road. I barely missed the kitten that was inside the driving lane. :shock:
I immediately pulled over…while all the other Kruger fanatics behind us just kept on racing for reception and just, just missed the kitten than was franticly running between all the wheels. My SO jumped out and eventually got the last car to stop while he caught the kitten.
I took the shivering and frightened kitten and put him under my jersey were he started to relax and even purr.
What to do now? :?
We asked the gate guard if he knows anything about the kitten and he just said he has seen them around there and that the mother is somewhere in the sugarcane. My SO went to that area and couldn’t see anything….he was also almost killed by a speeding vehicle …they should put up a speed hump up at that gate!!!! :evil:
We then went to the gates of the Elephant Walk Resort, wanting to enquire if anybody there knows the kitten but their gates were locked.
Eventually we sat next to the road hoping to see or hear the mother but cars kept on speeding past and we realized two thing: We could not just let the kitten go again because he is surely going to be killed and secondly the mother will not come out with all the speeding vehicles.
You also have to remember that we at that stages thought it is a normal feral cat.
Eventually I looked at my SO with the best “puppy eyes” expression I could muster at 6 am in the morning and convinced him that I could keep the cat. I also decided that his name would be Croc. :D
My SO suggested that we turn around and go back to Marloth with the cat but I felt bad towards him because it’s been a while that he has been inside Kruger. I suggested that I will go and ask the Duty Manager at Crocodile Bridge if they would be so kind as to keep the cat for us for about 2 hours while we go for a quick drive.

At Crocodile bridge the Duty Manager was not available and the only person I could find to speak to, that wasn’t busy, was a field guide. As I started telling my story, he asked me if the cat is still alive. He said that he saw the kitten early the morning at the gate when he was waiting for people. I said the kitten is in our car and asked if they would keep it so that we could just have our drive and then afterwards decide what to do with the it…keep it or take it to the SPCA (this was however not true, I already decided to keep it :wink: ) .
The guide said there is no way I can take the cat because it is an African Wild Cat! I have to say, I was completely blown away! :shock:

After giving the field guide some lessons in how to hold and comfort a kitten, I handed Croc over to him. I begged him not to go and put the kitten back at the gate because that will surely cost him his life. Another problem is that we touched it and our sent was on it now…don’t know if the mother will accept it again (but I’m not an expert). The field guide said he would take Croc to the Ranger (actually gave me his word, several times! :roll: )…. I spoke to the Ranger this morning and he does not know anything about the incident or the cat… :?
I hope Croc is OK

Here is Croc. (look at the photos of AWC kittens posted Here …he is definitely part of the family)


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Unread post by Salva » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:11 pm

What a great story Jumbo! I myself would have mistaken it for a housecat as well. I fear however for the future of that little one :(
U lacht en U heeft gelijk dat U lacht maar het is niet om mee te lachen


Unread post by Jumbo » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:52 pm

Salva, I was initially horrified by the thought that I almost took this AWC home as a pet…believed everything worked out well in the sense that I first spoke to the guide at Croc bridge and found out that it was a AWC.
But now I’m also worried about what happened to it. :( The guide himself said that the mother might possibly reject the kitten with human smells on it…but trust me, we had no choice as to pick him up, domestic cat or wild cat, he would have been a dead cat. I would love to know what happened to this kitten.

BTW, I initially phoned the Ranger this morning to suggest that he speak to Marna Herbs (the Wildcat Lady in Kgalagadi) about how to handle the cat. ….but like I said, he knew nothing about it.

Something else that bugs me: Like I said, I’m no expert, but is it wise to let real AWC’s roam on the borders of the park? Isn’t this a real threat for inbreeding with domestic cats? :?

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Unread post by arks » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:57 pm

What a sad story, Jumbo. I also hope little Croc is OK — and I'd have quite a lot to say to that field guide if he isn't :twisted: :roll: :twisted:

As for the AWCs frequenting the borders of the park, I doubt anything can be done about that, if they find that it is good habitat for them. I'm sure there's lots of terrific kitty prey in those sugarcane fields and it's likely that AWCs move freely between the park and surrounding areas if the food is better outside than in. And while they're not as big as ellies :D , cats are also very good at getting through fences when they choose to.
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