Rangers Report June 2011
It was a good month for predators this month as the vegetation has well and truly thinned out now compared to the lush summer time thickets that abound Thornybush.We have had some fantastic viewing of cheetah and lion on kills.The Black Dam pride of Lion in the South have been making regular kills and the cubs are filling out nicely.One of the nicer sightings in a while was when they were found on a wildebeest kill early one morning.Everything was great, the morning sun was still low and the air was crisp and clear with some dew on the grass.
It was fresh but not cold and lions were squabbling over the remains and their growls could be heard a long way before arriving in the sighting.There are 2 young lionesses and one young male with their mother.The males mane is starting to grow and he has a casual scruffy look to him.They soon finished the meat and moved off to find some water to drink.They have since fed regularly but this is one sighting that will be among my favorite as everything about it was as close to perfect as could it could get.
The 4 cheetah cubs in the north are doing well and their mother is still in good condition and providing them with regular meals.She recently brought down a young impala in an open clearing that gave everyone around a great view of all of them feeding.The cubs are still inherently curious about anything and everything that looks as if it could be caught for food and often chase squirrels and birds up into trees with very, very limited success.
A young male cheetah managed to bring down a young impala one morning and managed to feed peacefully for some time until it looked as if he was ready to burst.
He then moved off and gave the watching jackal a chance to dart in for some table scraps.Unfortunately 2 tawny eagles had also spotted the carcass.These eagles also regularly scavenge and vultures tend to watch them.Often when the tawny eagles go down to a dead animal there are some vultures that will come and investigate as well.And not long after the cheetah had left a squadron of vultures had descended on the scene and soon made it very difficult for him to feed as they pushed and shoved around the carcass.The tawny eagles realized that there was soon nothing to be had and grabbed a chunk of meat and flew off, leaving the vultures to continue their scrapping.The jackal made one or 2 feeble charges at the vultures but their numbers proved to be to much and he eventually, after only a small bit of meat moved off.
The elephants are still in the North which has been a real treat of late.They have often been in and around both main lodge and Chapungu causing plenty of entertaining moments in both, although to the detriment of Chapungu whose aloe population has decreased some what over the last week.They have taken a liking to the dams in the area making for some spectacular viewing and great photographic opportunities.