2 Pumbas ( warthogs)
Tyson - 2 month old cheetah
Jackals - maybe? (explain later)
Audrey the blind vervet monkey
Popeye the owl
4 baboons ( Abu, Chloe & Janine, Lloyd)
Fluffy the hamster
24 guinea fowl
3 bottle lambs
2 "baby" geese
A quick introduction to my animals. Most are fairly self explanatory and what you would expect to find on a place like Harnas. But there are a few that were a bit odd.
Fluffy the hamster is one of them. Still have no idea why he was there since he wasn't food for anyone. hehe Assuming he was someones pet at one point.
The bottle lambs were orphans from the sheep herd and they finished being bottle fed shortly after I arrived.
The caracals are cats similar to the lynx who are very good jumpers and bird catchers. We didn't do a lot with these caracals because they were fed on the morning tours. And they are wild. They generally scare up a flock of birds and then jump up (up to 3 m) into the flying flock and take out up to 10 birds at once. Very agile as you can imagine!
I say that we maybe took care of young jackals because I never did see them so I do wonder if they were the ones even eating the food. The story behind the jackals is that they escaped from their enclosure , went missing for a few weeks but then they reappeared in the carport/hay shed. And because they are nocturnal, we never saw them. Though a friend, Marie Therese, did send me pictures of them from before they escaped.
|The invisible jackals Pic taken by MT|
The four baboons we had I will honestly say I wasn't a huge fan of. Mainly because they were big ( Janine & Lloyd) closing in at 20 Kg each. Chloe and Abu were smaller but known for breaking out of their enclosure. Chloe did not like me and normally would scream and try to grab me. Abu was sweet for the most part. Baboons on a whole are interesting creatures. The tough thing about them is that they act like spoiled toddlers but strength of 7 grown men ( adult baboons). You can't say no to them or really any negative words, can't take anything away from them. When you go in with them you have to take off hats, sunglass, watches. Basically anything that can be removed and don;t be surprised if they try to undress you! One note about piercing/ earrings. Any sort of piercing anywhere and I do mean anywhere ( mouth or anywhere "sensitive"!) They will find them and pull them out! Almost happened to a couple people while I was there. They will open your mouth and good bye tongue piercing!
The baby baboons (under a couple months old) which I didn't feed did grow on me but the ones I was actually caring for not so much. The coordinators did help us with working with them and they could discipline them as needed.
Audrey, the blind vervet monkey is a sweetheart. She was poached as a young one and kept in a suit case for a long time and then opened in the full sun quickly which caused her to go blind. I ended up spending time with her mainly reading and talking to her.
Tyson, the baby cheetah, is one I fought to get to take care of. He is only 2 months old when he was found in the LifeLine totally alone and no mom around. People kept an eye on him for a day to see if mom would show up but never did so he was brought in. He is honestly one animal that I am conflicted over. In one sense I wish we could have kept him in the wild with another cheetah to raise him instead of having to tame him. Harnas reasoning is that , that wasn't possible so we need to tame him in order to teach him how to hunt later on in life. Harnas has done this successfully with a few cheetahs so hopefully it happens with Tyson as well.
Popeye the owl lives out in the cemetary trees. And he sits in one particular tree. He doesn't fly that much since he only has one eye.
The birds: guinea fowl and turkeys live free range on the lawn around the farm. We use to have to chase them into 2 pens every night for the first couple weeks but we no longer do now. It never made a lot of sense since they could fly out of the pens. hehe.
|Guinea Fowl Pic by MT|
The geese also had free range of the lawn area. The 2 "baby" geese are no longer babies but one is special since he broke (or born malformed) his wings so he now looks like an airplane. Both wings stick straight out.
Each group had a different family of meerkats to look after. We had the "Fatties". There are 4 of them and yes they were on the chubby side but they did manage to come off their diet which made them happy! I loved our group, very cheeky though glad I was leaving when I did because ours were getting annoying with their digging and tossing all of the sand straight into their waterhole. So we had been attempting to outsmart them by placing rocks around one side of their waterhole. Wasn't working to well!
|Meerkats Pic by MT|
And the best for last, my 2 dear pumbas (warthogs). If you saw my Christmas card you will know I fell in love with 2 very cute warthogs ( Ham and Bacon). Who would have thought out of all the animals at Harnas , 2 warthogs capture my heart? Lol They are roughly a year old and were born/raised at Harnas. Not much to say about them other then they are insanely cute , happy pigs :D
|How couldn't you love this face?|
In some senses, they weren't the most exciting animals to have since we didn't have the older cheetahs or the baby baboons but most of the animals I grew to love.