Par ShumbAfrica le 28 December 2013 à 16:12
2 months after being back to Europe, maybe it's a good time to give you an update.
My mission to remove the collars was a complete failure... I had everything (dart gun, darts, drugs, car etc) except for bait and Park rangers... So no collar was retrieved...
Now the good news is that 3 collars were still working from last year and I managed to get all the data (with the help of Marion, one of my supervisor), so now got a lot of work ahead analyzing all this...
Data analysis is on the way with 2 scientific papers already submitted. One of them shows that den site selection and use in hyaenas is negatively influenced by the presence of lions in the vicinity, quite cool!
Stay tune for the next ones!
Have a wonderful festive season!
Par ShumbAfrica le 29 October 2013 à 08:17
Yeterday I drove to Guvalala in a hope to get some data from the collared hyaena. Elephants were drinking at the pan as the sun was setting behind thunderstrom clouds, it was stunning!
Then I saw a group of impalas running at full speed. I thouhgt "mmm let me check that out, there's only one reason why they would run like this: predators!" So here I go driving towards them. As I get closer, 3 impalas darted on the right side and when my eyes got back to the road I saw 2 wild dogs crossing, going to my left. My gaze followed them, and there they were: 2 other wild dogs, pulling down a female impala and tearing it appart!! My heart was racing, this is it my first kill!!!
By the time I managed to park my car 10m away from them, 7 pups had joined the 4 adults and they were feasting!!! The impala was pregnant so they was extra food for all of them. The pups ate first, all excited and chirping all along, while the adults caught their breath after the chase, rolling in the sand. Then they fed too, and the kill was finished within 30min. Some of the adults also regurgitaed meet for the pups. By the time they left, only a piece of backbone remained...
After their dinner, they all walked off to the pan to have a drink. It was already getting dark and hyaenas started to come around to check what was the noise all about. They promptly got chase away, and the dogs walked off in the bush, disappearing in the savanna night.
It was an amazing experince, one I'm ready to have again any time soon!!
Par ShumbAfrica le 15 October 2013 à 14:32
So here I am, back in Hwange for a month. It's really hot and quite dry. However, the elephants don't look so bad as they did last year...
My mission is (rather seems!) quite simple: I need to remove the collars deployed on hyaenas to collect the last of their data. Now the issue is that we don't have a dart gun on the project so I need to borrow one from colleagues when they don't need it. Then I need to find a bait. Then I need to find a ranger available to come with me. Then I need to get the correct hyaena on the bait. Then, obvisously I need to dart her. Then We have to find her. Then... Well in a word, it's not such an easy mission. But I'll do my best!
For the first part of my stay here, I've been involved in another movie from Winds Prodcutions. They have developped quite an intersting technology allowing them to film at night with infra red light and get coloured images with stars in the sky, just amazing!! So I was there to help them get the footages they wanted of hyaenas and lions. I think we did quite well. We had 2 great nights, one with hyaenas running around the pan with hundreds of elehants and whooping all over the plcae, and a second one with a pride of 10 lions (with Lucky and Tommy) rooaring all around thus. It was wonderful! I hope the images are great too!
Right, time for me to go to work now... Keep in touch!
Par ShumbAfrica le 12 June 2013 à 13:51
Some good news this side. Africa Geo is publishing an article on Hwange lions in their July issue, and some of my pictures have been slected to be published!! Sooooo exciting!!
I'll let you know when I learn more about this!
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