Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happenings at Djuma since being off line.

The cubs on the 9 May

Hi everyone, it's good to be back!

My word! I can safely say I have never experienced a storm like the one we had on the 17th! We were all convinced it was a mini hurricane! Interrupting our film with a power cut, the thunder and lightning intensified as the wind continued to build and the heavens opened causing a flash flood to cascade between the rooms and down the drive way. Incredible! 

The morning after the huge storm, we found Karula a couple of metres off the road leading down to the lodge, sleeping next to a carcass. Our lady once again had taken advantage of the impala being disorientated by a storm. We sat watching her for a short while and noticed the female cub a little way from her. There was a lot of movement at the lodge, fences were leaning over, huge branches were thrown a few metres from their home and even whole trees had been blown over completely, so there was a lot to clean up before the guests arrived. Karula wasn’t too concerned she had experienced these sounds before, but the cub became nervous, when the chainsaw started to hum and she took cover under a bush, ignoring Karula’s comforting calls. 

Karula on the 19th May.
Being the competent mother she is, she went to join her cub, who immediately relaxed in her mother’s presence.  All the time we spent with them, I was getting concerned we had not seen the little male. I thought maybe the female had gone to join him under the bush, but when she joined Karula, he still didn’t appear. I was worried something might have happened to him during the strong winds the night before.

We left Karula and her cub hoping the little male was hiding somewhere safe and just waiting for the commotion to subside. PM drive came and went and there was still no news of the male, but a second carcass had been discovered in a tree, down by room 3, which is where we had left the family the morning of the 17th. Maybe the male cub was still there, but I was still extremely anxious.

Female cub on the 9th May
With night fall, there was less movement around the lodge, the ciaos had been re-organised, the guests had arrived and myself and Marc joined them for dinner at the lodge. We had a very pleasant evening, a little worried about the weather as the wind started to pick up, thankfully it didn’t mount to anything! In the back of my mind I thought Karula might be searching for the male, as we sat enjoying our meal. I did wonder if she already knew where he was and it was just me that was concerned because nobody had seen him!

Whatever the situation was, relief washed over me when one of the guides reported they had seen the 2 cubs together at room 8 the following morning! The hyena hadn’t even found the carcass that was still on the ground. We even spotted a third impala in a tree a few meters from where she had been the previous day, bring the total to 3! What a lady!

Male cub on the 9 May
As far as we know she was around the lodge for a further couple of days. Apparently the total number of impala carcasses found is 5! The last report I have had was of the cubs being left at the MMM and Impala plains junction again on the 23rd May and Karula making another kill a couple of days later on the Western side of MMM not far from that junction.

We have also been told by the guides Yambilu-Jordaan was seen fighting with another male close to baboon pan, although there are conflicting stories as to who he was fighting with, either Mvula or Mafufunyane on the 21st May, most seem to agree it was Mafufunyane.

The cubs on the 9th May
Lastly on the baboon front, Shirley, Genesis and the troop seem to be doing well, sadly I still don't have any pictures of the new arrival as yet! Thankfully though we have stopped the baboon break ins, since Daniel put the curtains up in Inga's house! 

My camera is still being temperamental working sometimes and not others, so some of the pictures are not great exposure and focus wise, but hope you enjoy them all the same!

Written by Tara 


Anthony Corvelli said...

Thanks for the update!! Glad all is ok for the most part.

ellencatz2 said...

I'm so glad the Karula and the cubs are ok. The baboons too! Hope all the animals are ok!! Good to have an update. Thanks!

Doris C said...

Hi Tara i had to refresh and login a gain such a nuisance, thats for the blog oh i have missed Karula and her big babies, glad to see you back.

Regards Doris

Kim said...

Thanks for the update Tara!! Glad to see you back! Glad to hear that Karula and the cubs as well as the baboons are all safe!!!

Sally said...

Tara! Welcome back! These pictures are wonderful, and it is so good seeing Karula and her youngsters after far too long a break for this Djunkie! Thanks so much for the update!

Lea said...

Sounds like a terrible storm that hit Djuma. Thanks for the update on Karula and family. It is nice to have you back.

Pepperbird said...

Thanks for all this news and the details and excellent description Tara. WE have all been worrying for days about the equipment, the Crew, the Djuma animals, and the landscape after that storm. WE heard that some people in the villages were homeless from the storm too--Patrick told us. So relieved to hear that all have coped well. I believe that some roof repairs are needed on the lodge too. I hope that Marc's Land Rover and Craig's car and the other vehicles were not damaged by the hail!

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