Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

I hate to see animals suffer in any way. I once saw a recently wounded young Zebra, still shaking from shock. There were gashes down her rump that suggested a lion attack. It had me in tears all the way from Satara to Olifants.

Because I find it so difficult, I remind myself that the mammal brain is so much less complex than ours. It lives in the moment, has little brain involving relations and attachment. It has a different quality to pain, so much of our pain is linked to emotion and interpretation. In states of shock, our capacity for pain is completely altered. It is like that of a mammal.
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Elsa
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

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Joao wrote:Whilst on a drive between Satara and Olifants we waited for a chameleon to cross the road. When it was about half a meter from the other side a yellow billed kite dived down and caught it before our eyes.
We had exactly the same thing happen to us last year, even described it my trip report and I recall we were all so shocked, even to the point of wondering if we were not in some way responsible, having pinpointed its location, but I guess that's a human emotion and many more get taken with no cars in sight. :?
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granjan
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by granjan »

We had asimilar experience to Hippotragus tho' in our case it was a baby zebra.We neither of us think of ourselves as sentimental about nature but were both a bit upset by this poor baby seeking some comfort!
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days456 kruger 2110 102 by jansp, on Flickr

We tried not to touch it but in the end had to push it away from the car to drive away!
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

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This is an interesting topic.......and I think it actually highlights for all of us what I have been taught and believe is the purpose of Humans.

We all know, RESPECT and implement the argument which states that we should "not get involved and allow nature to take its course..." I respect that argument but lets for a moment consider that we humans are also a part of creation, part of nature and what OUR role is in this world, aside from procreating?

I think this topic actually presents the answer, a spiritual one ultimately ... Humans are the one being that far ahead of all others have the capacity and understanding to bring kindness into the world by helping each other and other life to the extent that it is possible and to the extent that we do not (and sometimes do) endanger ourselves doing so. We are capable of feeling compassion and empathy, we are often capable of making a difference for the better in the life of something or someone else. We do this all the time, we impact on nature in negative and positive ways all the time.

So my contribution to this topic is as follows: First and foremost I respect the rules and regulations of SANParks and would not get involved because I respect those rules. However, I believe that in general if we can help an animal in distress, be it wild or domestic, we should. To apply a purist way of thinking that "if I was not there xyz would happen" ignores our own purpose in this world.

We once saw a Saddle Billed Stork that appeared to be stuck in the mud some distance north of Shingwedzi, it appeared to be struggling. Knowing that it was such a rare bird and the thought of it dying that way bothered me enough to make a call from Sirheni to the Section Ranger. I forget his name but he appreciated the call and said that they do intervene in cases like that, especially if a rare species is in trouble and would immediately go out and assess the situation.

It turned out from a reading of the tracks in the mud that the bird was not stuck but had been in a fight with another male Saddlebill and had been pierced in the chest....he died. The story shows that interventions are practised by the authorities if reported by us.

Another story comes to mind from a private game reserve in Greater Kruger. A lioness had been struggling with illness or an injury and was slowly wasting away...her existence had become painful and she was soon going to die. The rangers in that reserve ended her suffering. It made no difference to the ecosystem, but it simply cut short the length of time an animal had to endure suffering.

So, in cases where we can safely and legally intervene and even if the only reason is simply to be kind, I believe we should, just because its in our nature to do so, and I think in our nature for a reason.
"Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving lift to other acts in return."
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Bushmad is so right in saying that we are the only creatures endowed with the capacity for an empathy that is aware and conscious. It does leave us vulnerable to our own desire to rescue. I have accepted that I will never be comfortable in certain situations. It gets worse as I get older.

Joao, as a child I would often rescue chameleons :wink: I have many Christian Chameleon graves. We had many little crosses in our garden for mice and birds killed by our half feral cat. "Rescue cat, of course". I think the birds had a celebration the day she died.

It demonstrates how deeply compassion is hard wired into our genes. A theory challenging Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest", is one that looks at the capacity to form groups, even at a cellular level. As humans, it is not only our capacity to dominate that has made us succesful, but also our capacity for care.
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by TreeQueen »

I have a great story to tell that links up to this topic perfectly as well as Bushmad's post.
Earlier this year myself and my boyfriend, brother and friends went to Kruger for the annual Honorary Ranger Indaba and we stayed at various camps before heading off to Letaba for the HR event.

We were travelling in convoy on the sand road that goes to the Timbavati picnic spot to have breakfast and we were meandering alongside the river enjoying the scenery and wildlife. We approached some nyala on the left hand side of the road and we stopped to take some pics. Someone then spotted two white *** on the right hand side of the road and we then focused our attention on them. The bush was thick and dense so we couldn't really see much.

Next minute we all heard a loud piercing scream! (MM if you have a 'thing' for distressed animal sounds then you certainly would have gone into shock! This sound was haunting!). We didn't know what it was! We thought it was a hyena because it almost sounded like a hyena 'laugh' but in a hectic crazy high-pitched tone!

Our friends then looked through their binoculars into the thick bush to try and see what animal it was...lo and behold it was a young *** trapped! We couldn't see properly but my friend said that she saw the ***’s leg suspended in the air.

We were so shocked, traumatised, and emotional and we knew we had to get involved somehow. We were guessing that the *** had gotten itself caught in a poacher snare. There was no cellphone signal and we decided to split up. My brother and our friends stayed at the scene and myself and my boyfriend then drove to the Timbavati picnic spot.

My BF and I got to the picnic site and we told the guy working at the picnic spot and he said that he didn’t have a radio to contact one of the camps to inform them. Being highly frustrated by this, we then headed off to Satara in a hurry. To make the situation even worse, there was a lion sighting on the sand road that we took to get to Satara and there were cars for Africa!!! We had to fight our way past the people, force people to move, etc. One poor woman even scratched her car against a thorn bush just to move out the way for us.

We finally reached Satara and went straight to reception. We told the manager and we also phoned the Kruger emergency line. My boyfriend spoke to a section ranger and he said that it doesn’t sound like a poaching incident but rather a natural occurrence. He said that he was going to send out some field staff to investigate.

My brother and our friends then met us at Satara and we were all so distraught. The friends had taken their Yellow Ribbon and tied it onto the bush so that the field staff can find the spot. Later on we received a call and we found out what exactly had happened: The young *** had come into contact with the other two *** and got attacked by them. The *** ended up getting its leg caught in between a tree. The staff freed the *** by cutting the tree down.
We felt so good that we got involved and saved a ***!
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Elsa
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

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What an amazing story TreeQueen and thank you for being caring enough to go the extra mile to get help. :gflower:
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by Imberbe »

Had a heart wrenching experience. I told the story here: Absolom.
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