Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Harnas Activities: Research

Harnas has 5 cheetahs who live in the 8000 acres LifeLine. All of these cheetahs were hand raised at Harnas ( for different reasons) but have successfully been released back into the wild. All 5 are radio collard.

The cheetahs:
Pride: 8 year old female
Mercy: 2 year daughter of Pride
Dinga: 2 year old adopted son of Pride
Max: 5 year old male (brother of Moritz)
Moritz: 5 year old male (brother of Max)

Research was one of my favourite activities since it involves us going and tracking and finding the cheetahs using the telepathy antenea. Learning to use it was interesting and really seemed to be almost more of an art then science sometimes. Trying to figure out the beeps and the how many ‘bars’ that would appear and what all that meant in order to figure out which way to go in. Electric fences and power lines also don’t help either. 

Also fun sitting on top of a big landcruiser driving around the LifeLine.  

Normally it is the 2 brothers ( Max and Moritz) hang out together which goes against the norm. Pride and her 2 young ones are usually somewhere else together. Though Pride had been hanging out with the 2 brothers when I left Harnas and had been thinking of mating. Hoping for a few cheetah kittens in 3 months! 

When we did find the cheetahs, Kathy would take notes on where we found them, what they were doing, how they looked health wise. Basically notes to keep track of them health wise including breathing rates ( they can breath really fast!). 

Kathy on the right. Max & Moritz being lazy.

Pride still likes humans and will come over to see us and get a pat or water. Her 2 young ones aren’t as friendly ( good thing overall!). The 2 brothers are fairly friendly. 

I lucked out and had a few really exciting research outings. The last one before I left was the most exciting one. Pride hanging out with the brothers and making mating chirps. Also means that she is feeling better after her injuries ( kick and gash on her chest from a warthog) and leaving the young ones for awhile. 

When we finally tracked down Dinga and Mercy after a 2.5km walk through the bush , thorny ones at that. We had just seen a mother warthog with a youngish one trot by ahead of us and right behind them came Mercy and Dinga. Mercy ended up chasing down the young one straight towards us! And catching/killing it about 15 feet from us. While Dinga chased the mother past us but didn’t catch it. 

Just a bit of excitement! Lol and managed to get some pictures of Mercy taking the warthog down too. So cool!

And one of my favourite pictures on my adventure so far came while being on research. Max and Moritz lying under a tree with a massive black rain clouds in the background. We did seriously wet from that cloud too! 

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