Thursday, 26 February 2009

A new Hancock Wildlife eagle nest


The nest is in an old Garry oak tree in Sidney, British Columbia - a suburb of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, situated on the South end of Vancouver Island. The area is near the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on the Saanich Peninsula.
This pair has successfully raised young in front of the Hancock Wildlife cameras in 2006 and 2007.  In 2008 they produced THREE eaglets in a new nest about 500 ft. from the original nest. 
There are currently two cameras in the nest tree (only one LIVE so far), the wide angle camera and one much closer to the nest (the closeup camera) and two microphones, one near each camera - with both sent to both views of the streams as a stereo pair.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

What WE feel.

How WE feel, is so important in our daily lives. WE think and do. . . speak, say, hear and listen. WE play, work and rest.
WE do so much everyday, but what WE feel is a part of us, as much as breathing, no matter what WE do.
The last 48 hours have showed me many feelings and thoughts, many of them unexpected and new. I believe it has done the same,  for you. . .you are feeling something right now, at this moment, that you could not have imagined two days ago.
Two mornings ago, when I heard about Wonky over the radio, whan I told Lieschen and you about it, I felt shocked and saddened in a way I could not have imaged or understood.
Later that morning Lieschen and I went there, to the the grass and the acacia trees, to the termite mound and Wonky's carcass. We went to see, to maybe understand, and we went there to feel. I took some images while I stood there close to him, and realized that what he
was, had moved elsewhere. I realized that what I felt, was not lying there on the ground, but is what I feel right now. Wonkey was and is an amazing elephant, he became a friend, and the space he'd filled in me was not any emptier now, because I still felt  it.
I want to get to the point of these letters now, and it deals with the feelings I experienced, when I looked at those images I took then.
What I feel when I look at them still. I do not understand them, but I feel them. I am not going to try and explain this, because I can't, but I did want to share them. These images are not happy or sad, they are not easy,pretty or ugly, but they will make you feel something.
I want to ask you, not to judge them, because I share them from the bottom of my heart, a place deep enough to carry emotions and share impressions not commonly felt. This may be distressing for some; hard, sad, shocking or difficult for others. They are what they are.
Pieter Pretorius
(Notes on images: Pieter and I have decided that these images should not be published in the normal way. So Pieter is going to put them up in an album on his Facebook profile. If you are not yet friends with Pieter please add him here. Please respect that these images are not like others. They are of a dead friend and Pieter has decided to share them out of love. They are however harrowing and I suggest that you do not go looking for them without thinking about it first.)

Late night BiTS!!


As usual Herman has produced a great WE-BiTS about last weeks late night drives. Here you get to see a little behind the scenes that was happening on the spotting vehicle. Well done Herman ... and enjoy your break.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A legend is lost.

Wow, I still can't believe it. I sometimes feel like maybe I have imagined the whole thing. It is not often you hear of an elephant dying but especially one that plays such a large part in our lives. Wonky truly was one of WildEarth's favorite characters and WE have been following his life for nearly two years. His death is a huge loss to all of us and WE thank you for all of the messages of condolences. Characterized by his skew tusk and a bad back left foot, this gentle giant had an amazing personality. We reckon he was about 36 years old so his life was taken from him far too early. This guy should have lived until at least 60. In memory of him I have chosen some of the amazing videos made by you guys and some of the best  sightings we have had. Also an elephant carcass in the bush is an exciting meal for many. Over the next few days be ready to jump on the vehicle as Pieter will be heading over there as often as he can. Enjoy.
Emily Wallington


A Few Thoughts From Our Wonky...
Shed no tears for my body, all my dear friends at WE,
I am safe now, content and completely pain free.
While your hearts may be heavy, please remember my life,
It taught us all to be humble, to love without strife.

Life is harsh in the bush, yet gives beauty its name,
I have seen all its glory; I hope you’ll do the same.
When a flower reaches to the sky and feels the sun on its face,
My spirit will be in the warm grasses that surround it like lace.
As the summer brings life and the birds take to flight,
My sprit will be in the wind as they soar like a kite.
When my fellow friends of the animal kingdom take their last breaths,
I will greet them with honor and tell them not to fear death.
While my body is gone, and my friend’s hearts may feel broken,
Time will bring solace, and shared memories will be spoken.
Please don’t dwell on the sorrow of losing a friend,
For many more of my kind still need you to befriend.
Take this time to be grateful for all that we’ve shared,
I will never forget how you all graciously cared. 
A poem by CamFan

Seekpoints to our Wonky:
http://links.wildearth.tv/Rex-wonky
http://links.wildearth.tv/Rex-simon-wonky
http://links.wildearth.tv/wonky-tusk 
http://links.wildearth.tv/pieter-wonky

http://links.wildearth.tv/wonky-wonky

and the last sighting before he died .............
http://links.wildearth.tv/wonky-last-sighting

All the tributes made to Wonky in the video section of the social network are so touching. I have decided not to write about each one as they are all amazing. They are all attached below. Enjoy.


Goodbye Wonky by Joyce


Dedicated to Wonky by Banditt



Wonky Tribute by Valorie

Find more videos like this on WildEarth.TV


Remebering Wonky by Blaze


Finally I am sure that you have noticed that we have had a bit of a mass exodus of staff recently. Simon as you know has left and should be landing back in the US at some point today. Herman and Pete Braat have gone on leave to Cape Town and Rex is on a well deserved break at Dixie. That leaves Pieter, Lieschen, Siphiwe, Rory and Marc Weiner. Marc has come to help us out for a while which is fantastic because he is hugely knowledgeable,  a great presenter and another pair of hands. Thanks Marc.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Wonky

I have to be honest, I sit here now and find myself at a slight loss for words. When given the chance to sit down with your thoughts,
stare quietly into your feelings and write about your emotions. . . then suddenly a lot of what happened today comes rushing back at me
like a mock charge. I find myself unable to write in many words, or in few, what I felt today.
Wonky was and always will be a very special elephant for me, and also a great presence for Lieschen and myself . WE shared many moments together
and he held a  very special place in our  journey together. We have looked in each others eyes, and there his image will remain a part of us,
deeper than sorrow and longer than time.
So, I will stop trying to pen down what I felt today and feel now. I will share what I feel when I and WE see him again.
WE have received special permission from Buffelshoek ( the neighboring area where Wonky lies) with the help of Kobus Dannhauser and Sidney Frankel!
Weather  permitting,  Rory and I hope to be where Wonky lies, when the the dawn turns the skies. WE will leave at five (CAT), head there
in the grey of pre-sunrise and WE will share time and thoughts together.
Thank you for all the heartfelt thoughts and messages - they mean a great deal to me, us  and WE.
Pieter Pretorius

Wonky has died.

Today is a sad day. This morning on the game drive radio, Pieter was told that Wonky had been found dead on a property to the north of Djuma.
As many of you know, Wonky has been one of our regular characters here at Djuma and on WildEarth for a long long time. In fact nobody can say when he first moved onto this land, but it is was a long time ago. He lived a life of relative solitude. A bull elephant with a deformed tusk, and more challenging for him, a deformed back leg, which must have made it hard to keep up and defend himself from other bulls.
It would appear that he was killed by another bull elephant. Just after the morning drive, Pieter and Lieschen asked for and got permission to visit Wonky.
From what Pieter has said to me, it sounds like it was a good thing that they visited him. I think there was some closure for both Pieter and Lieschen. I will let them talk more about their feelings later.
Pieter did say that it appears that Wonky dies at least a day and a half ago, maybe as much as three days. He said that Wonky had a few large gashes on his back, which are consistent with tusk injuries, which most likley would have been inflicted by another bull. He also said that there was signs of several elephant having visited the old man over the past short while. I am sure his friends having been coming around to pay their respects ... it is in their nature.
No promises, but WE are trying to get special permission to take you to see Wonky as well. If WE are not able to secure this permission, Pieter and Lieschen will show you the photographs of him and say some words.
If anybody makes a tribute to Wonky please let us know so that WE can post it and share it with everyone.
Also, if you have a Facebook profile, you can become a fan of Wonky here ...

Goodbye old man.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Simon is leaving WE!

It is always sad to say goodbye to a WEcrew and I know for so many of our chatters, saying goodbye to Simon will be hard. He has been with us for some 4 months and it has been a great pleasure to see and watch the obvious pleasure that he has taken in living in the African bush. Unfortunately Simon is moving back to the US for a while. There are many reasons for this including issues like work and residency permits, changes that are happening at WildEarth, as well as the need that all young adventurers have ... to move on and explore our WildEarth ... it is in their nature.
Simon, you will always be a part of WE and, I am sure, that WE will always be a part of you. May the wind remain at your back and may the road rise up to meet you. I am sure that this will not be the last time WE see Simon LIVE on WE.
Simon will be conducting his Saturday Night LIVE chat show tonight for the last time, and will be making his final appearance and saying his goodbyes tomorrow night at the Fire Side Chat.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A disapointing night ...

Well I must say that our first late night drive was very disapointing. Moments before the drive began at 22h00 CAT a few sad people decided to see if they could 'hack' into our live repeater. Now our live repeater in Pretoria, South Africa, is where the Flash stream is collected from Djuma and where Zaplive grabs the stream and then serves it out to you from Holland. Well the minute more than 10 streams are 'grabbed' from this repeater it shuts out everyone else. It does this because it was never designed to serve the public, but merely provide us with a way of distributing the stream.
So in effect because a few people so badly wanted to avoid the advertising, that is there to make our broadcasting viable, they prevented everyone else from watching our first late night drive. This is one of the most selfish things I have seen done. I would like to let those people know that it takes a massive amount of effort to do what WE do, not to mention expense. WE do this because we love it and really believe that it is worth doing for the benefit of all. Your selfishness has no place in our WildEarth.
It took us hours until early in the morning to figure out what had happened ... I hope you few people really enjoyed your ad free night drive!
Tonight WE will try again. WE have made every effort to put the necessary security in place, but to be honest this is a bit of an Achilles heal in our system. It can be permanently resolved, but it will create a huge amount of work and may result in a fragmented archive ... another great consequence of the selfishness, ignorance and frankly rudeness of a few.
I completley understand that few, if any, people like advertsing in their viewing. WE have gone to some effort to keep this advertising to a minimum. WE have not covered our pages with tons and tons of garish ads. WE have to put it in-stream because otherwise WE are not motivated to make good content, just create good marketing (this involves a much bigger explanation, but take it from me in-stream is the way). I don't, however, think that one has to be a genius to realise that running a broadcast like WildEarth from the middle of the African wilderness and delivering it to a global audience is very very expensive. And if WE all want it to continue it will need to be made viable. And the only way to make it viable, and still FREE, is to include advertising. Now I don't expect you to love the advertising, but I don't think it is too much to ask that you put up with it (hell you might even click the odd ad if you are interested in the product) in return for the immense effort it takes to bring you the only content of its type on earth. The only truly real nature programming in the world!
I am sorry about this rant, but I am very very upset when fellow humans behave in such a selfish way ... it is just not in our nature ... and if it is, it is certainly not in the nature of those that are part of the WEfamily.

WE went frogging ...

On the evening of Monday the 16th February WE went out and did something a little out of the ordinary ... WE went frogging!
Now this involves a few intrepid men sloshing around at night in a leech infested waterhole, surrounded by biting insects, lugging tons of not always cooperative broadcast equipment, in the middle of a big 5 reserve in deepest Africa ... all in search of frogs! What could be more fun?
I really enjoyed this show, and I am sure that WE will do it again and again. The part I enjoyed the most was the interaction from you all. Thank you Sharon, Eden and Valorie for helping us ID these little fellas and get the seekpoints through to me.




Grey Treefrog  - WEseekpoint:  http://links.wildearth.tv/GrayTreeFrog
The Grey Foam-nest Treefrog or Southern Foam-nest Treefrog (Chiromantis xerampelina) is a species of frog in the Rhacophoridae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, possibly Democratic Republic of the Congo, and possibly Somalia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forest, ponds, and canals and ditches.
 
Painted Reed Frog - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/PaintedReedFrog


The Marbled Reed Frog or Painted Reed Frog (Hyperolius marmoratus) is a species of frog in the Hyperoliidae family. It is found in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, possibly Botswana, possibly Lesotho, and possibly Tanzania. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, temperate shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, temperate grassland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, rivers, swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marches, freshwater springs, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, water storage areas, ponds, open excavations, irrigated land, seasonally flooded agricultural land, and canals and ditches.
From  Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperolius_marmoratus

Red-banded Rubber Frog - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/RedBandedRubberFrog
The Banded Rubber Frog (Phrynomantis bifasciatus) is a species of frog in the Microhylidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, intermittent freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, water storage areas, ponds, and canals and ditches.

African Clawed Frog  - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/AfricanClawedFrog
The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, also known as platanna) is a species of South African aquatic frog of the genus Xenopus. It can grow up to 12 cm long with a flattened head and body, but no external ear or tongue. Its name derives from the three short claws on each of its hind feet, which it probably uses to stir up mud to hide it from predators.
The species is found throughout much of Africa, and in isolated, introduced populations in North America, South America, and Europe.
From  Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenopus_laevis (There is tons more info here ... a very interesting frog)



Unknown Frog 1 - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/Unknown1
WE don't know who this little fella is ... please try and find him for us and I will update this Blog with the correct ID and credit you. Please mail info@wildearth.tv




Anchieta's Ridged Frog - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/anchietasridgedfrog
The Anchieta's Ridged Frog or Plain Grass Frog (Ptychadena anchietae) is a species of frog in the Ranidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, possibly Burundi, and possibly Rwanda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montanes, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, rivers, intermittent rivers, freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marches, hot deserts, arable land, rural gardens, urban areas, and ponds.
From  Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptychadena_anchietae



Unknown 2 - WEseekpoint: http://links.wildearth.tv/Unknown3
WE don't know who this little fella is ... please try and find him for us and I will update this Blog with the correct ID and credit you. Please mail info@wildearth.tv



I hope that you all enjoyed this as much as Emily and I did. Once again I want to thank all those that helped IDing the frogs, making the seekpoints and just being a part of WE ... it's in your nature.
 

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Do you like frogs?

Well WE do ... and tomorrow night, Monday the 16th February 2009, Pieter and the WildEarth crew are going to do something for the very first time ... WE are going to take you frogging!
Thats right you are going to come along with us as WE go in search of as many different species of frog as possible in the waterholes and puddles of Djuma. Now the reason that WE are doing this is not only to gross you out by watching Pieter flop around in an African waterhole at night and try and catch frogs with his bare hands (although that would be worth it), but it has a very important purpose. You see frogs are a very important indicator species, they tell us a lot about the health of an ecosystem, the more of them there are, and very importantly the more different ones that there are, the more robust and vibrant the system is. Frogs breath through their skins (to some extent) and this means that if there are any unhealthy pollutants in the water frogs are the first to react ... and disappear!
Now WE are pretty confident that things are good in the ecosystem, and WE certainly hear a lot of frogs, I am sure that you would agree with that! What WE want to find out is just how many different frogs WE can find in an hour or so of searching. And you are going to play a critical role ... because WE do not know every frog out there and you have access to the Internet. So what WE are asking is that you find a couple of frog websites, with pictures, (maybe share them on the social network) and get ready for tomorrow night at about 18h00 CAT (Central African Time). Pieter will catch a frog and show it to the camera, Rory will snap a high res image of the frog, and then you need to see if you can identify the frog and mail in the ID to finalcontrol@wildearth.tv AS the IDs come through the director will radio Pieter and the crew at the waterholes who will then tell you what frog it is. The next day I will Blog all the pics, with IDs and a little info on each frog. This set of data will then allow us to compare next year, and in future years how the Djuma ecosystem is doing ... by counting frogs and IDing them!
So get ready for LIVE frogging at Djuma on WildEarth ... its in your nature.

Nocturnal Djuma

This week is going to be a bit different ... WE have all had our thinking caps on and have come up with a bunch of new ideas to WOW you. WE love the safaris, but think that now with WildEarth officially becoming a TV channel and finally having in-stream advertising, meaning that WE can afford as much traffic as comes, the time has come to stretch a little and try a few new ideas.
This week WE are going to focus on the nocturnal a little ... so on Tuesday the 17th February, and on Wednesday and Thursday (the 18th and 19th) WE are going to go out on the normal afternoon safari from 16h30 to 19h30 CAT (Central African Time), but then the crew are going to charge the Jigga up and head out again at 22h00 CAT and stay out until at least 24h00 CAT ... maybe even longer. The crew are going to focus on the animals that WE don't normally see because we come in too early for them, animals like pangolin, aardvark, genet, civet, honebadger, wild cat, serval, white tailed mongoose, etc.
While Pieter will be driving the Jigga, Rex will drive the bubaloo and go out an hour earlier and start spotting. Both of them will stay in touch by radio and this will double our chances of finding these super illusive nocturnal predators. There are no guarantees, but WE think this plan will almost certainly throw up some species and behaviour that will be a first for WildEarth and that usually means a first ever broadcast LIVE. So make sure that you are with us, clear your diaries, tell your friends, buy in the popcorn this is going to be a whole different experience and a world first ... it's in our nature.
Oh yes, because the crew will be working so late on these three nights, they are going to sleep in the following mornings. So morning drives and morning walks will be cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Friday, 13 February 2009

lots and lots of rain ...



Thanks Herman ... great WE-BiTS ... I just love it when Djuma becomes a rain forest!

WE are officially a TV channel in the UK!!!

Well, it has been 10 years in the making. Finally WE are a LIVE 24/7 TV channel. WE debuted on the SomethingTV IPTV (Internet Protocol TeleVision) platform in the United kingdom.
I would like to extend a big warm WElcome to all the new TV viewers from SomethingTV on behalf of both the crew at WildEarth, but also the whole WEfamily on the Internet.
If you are a UK resident you too could be watching WildEarth on your TV for only GBP9.99 per month ... just click here to find out more.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

WE Highlights

Well this week has seen the addition of the Bald Eagles to the WildEarth site and what an amazing addition that is. I must admit I am blown away by their size and presence. At the moment they are few and far between because they have not yet laid their eggs. They are preparing the nest so every now and again an eagle lands and adds a few twigs but their frequency will increase dramatically in the coming months. So far we don't have any seekpoints made of the bald eagles but watch this space. I think the highlight for this week for me was watching the elephants swimming in Gowrie Dam. Firstly the dam itself is amazing. The bush almost looks tropical and the dam is the fullest I have ever seen it. Not many animals are coming to drink there at the moment because the bush is full of water and there is so much choice for the animals. However, the elephants are enjoying swimming in it and I have chosen a seek point which shows this well. Pieter is back in camp today and I am sure you will agree with me that Rexon has done incredibly well on his own for the last two and a half weeks. I have chosen a great seek point where he describes eating locusts in his culture. Finally I chose a scene with some dwarf mongeese. They are one of my favourites of the smaller animals as they have such personality. Enjoy. Emily Wallington http://links.wildearth.tv/elephants-swimming
http://links.wildearth.tv/Rexon-locusts http://links.wildearth.tv/dwarf-mongeese Dance WildEarth Style by Banditt066 Wow Banditt, this is awesome. You always make your videos so entertaining and funky. I like your use of effects. I must admit I missed this piece of art and Blaze bought it to my attention. It is great, thanks and please please keep on making videos. You are wonderful at it. Find more videos like this on WildEarth.TV Hornbyvideopresentation2 by KimJ Seeing as the Hornby Island cameras are brand new on the WildEarth website this week I thought it important to include this wonderful video made up of footage from 2006. It gives you a glimpse of what we are going to see over the next few weeks. It will be so exciting when the eggs are laid and waiting for them to hatch. I can't wait. Thanks KimJ for this and I love the song.
Find more videos like this on WildEarth.TV The Dashes at Gowrie by Dave Keen Summer is such a wonderful time in the bus and this is a fantastic scene from Gowrie camera. The young impalas are having a blast frolicking in the long grass. I especially like the Scottish type music that you have put with it, it almost looks like they are moving in time to the music. Thanks Dave, once again you have made a wonderful video.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Hancock Wildlife Foundation joins the WEfamily!

WE are very proud and privileged to WElcome one of the world's most dedicated and prolific LIVE wildlife broadcasters onto the WE network and ecosystem ... the Hancock Wildlife Foundation (HWF) www.hancockwildlife.org
They begin with two exciting cams coming LIVE from Hornby Island in the Georgia Strait off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Both cams are positioned in a tree on a piece of land that belongs to Doug Carrick. It was Doug who first installed the cam over looking the nest and then worked with HWF and several others to begin broadcasting this amazing story in 2005. Almost straight away the pair of bald eagles and their mission to breed, captured the imagination of the world. It has been said that these cams were the most watched LIVE Internet streaming event up until that time.
Well HWF's world famous Hornby Island cams are back again in 2009 and they are on WildEarth!
The same LIVE player will be embedded in the www.hancockwildlife.org website, where there is a huge amount of information about the cams, the eagles and so much more. There are also several very active forums where you can discuss the activities at these nests and all the cams that will be coming on line from Hancock Wildlife Forum.
David Hancock, the founder and leader of the foundation, is a world renowned biologist, writer, photographer, publisher, speaker and above all conservationist.
A big WE welcome to David, his foundation, the Hornby cams and the whole Hancock extended family.

In-stream ads ... and a new era.

A new day has dawned on the adventure of LIVE wildlife broadcasting.
As many of you know, I have been slogging away at this concept for over 10 years, and today is a special day. Because WE are launching in-stream advertising today. That means that every 90 seconds a banner ad is going to appear at the bottom of the stream for about 25 seconds. Many of you will have an instantly bad reaction to this, and that is completley understandable after so many years of watching our LIVE streams with no advertising. But let me explain why this development is so exciting and why it is something you should embrace as well ...
You see the cost of broadcasting LIVE to a global audience has been very high, and quite unprofitable since it all first began at Djuma in 1998. Not only is there the cost of putting the camera equipment in place (not to mention the infrastructure for a LIVE safari) and getting that stream to a video server (particularly from remote locations in Africa), but for each extra person that watches the LIVE stream WE have to pay for the extra distribution bandwidth. Few people realise this strange factor, but the more popular your broadcast the more expensive it is to run, and therefore the more money you loose. In other words the better you are at producing great LIVE wildlife viewing the quicker you run out of money and have to say goodbye! As a result of this strange and counter intuitive effect, there has been scant motivation for people to develop compelling content or for those to invest in improving the cams they run. So our industry has hardly developed from those exciting first few cams back in 1998.
WildEarth has been working along two different paths to overcome this problem. On the one hand WE have been developing a content licensing model and as a result WildEarth is now available on SomethingTV in the United Kingdom and WE are in negotiations with several TV broadcasters all over the world ... much more about this later in the week. And on the other hand WE have been developing an Internet platform that will not only help WE to generate a revenue from our online broadcasts, but also empower others to succeed and produce great LIVE wildlife content.
Thats right ... WE have partnered with other LIVE broadcasters so that they can use our LIVE platform, our archiving, seekpoint and advertising systems. This means that they can focus on creating great events for you too watch instead of worrying about where they are going to find the money to build yet another player, pay for the distribution bandwidth, build a social network, promote the stream and generate revenue. WE have done it for them ... it is in our nature.
All of this is possible because of those ads. So please, instead of seeing this as a dark day and finding fault ... realise that today is the beginning of a new era, that will empower us and many others to bring you an insight into nature that you never dreamed possible.

Monday, 9 February 2009

That damn redhead has been writing about WE!

Stacy Lukas has just written a very flattering Blog about the WildEarth.TV social eco-system ... take a look at http://www.thatdamnredhead.net/
You should all be very proud of yourselves. You made this eco-system ... it is in your nature.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Back to business

Well, its the beginning of February and I feel like I have been away for a decade. My daughter Mia is now three months old and I am starting to feel human again. She is doing very well and so I have decided that it is time to officially come back to work. I first want to thank everyone so much for the warm wishes that we have had for our new little girl. It is fantastic being a Mum, better than I could have ever imagined.
My second big thank you is to all the WEangels who have donated towards the Water for Dixie Project. As I am sure that you all know we got second and third place in the Amazee Bucket which means we will receive $5000 towards the project. In the next few weeks we will complete the costing and see how much we really need to carry out this project. We will let you know how much is needed to make up the difference and hopefully get some more donations from the WEangels. Graham and I will head down there at some point to meet with the people of Dixie and discuss it. At the moment it is raining a lot which means there is a possibility of malaria. Therefore with such a new baby I really have to wait until the rain stops as Malaria would be disastrous at such a young age. Finally James Taylor has agreed to project manage the Water for Dixie Project and he will come on board when the money is in place.
I hope that all the WEangels who have donated for this project have had emails from me personally thanking them but I would like to take this opportunity to mention your names as well. Thanks to Marylou Kallin and the 2nd grade classes at Pinehurst Elementary School, Mr John C Tyrer, Detlef Pages, Sheabutter Cottage, Bert Meijer, Ann Beaufoy, Mary Schooley, Aquila, Andreas Nienhaus, Sandra Miller, Patti R German, Beth Brothman, Page B Teel, Sylvia Kappe, Snow LEApard, Margo Green, Kim Sammarco, Jill Lyons, Sharon Mcdorman, Jean-Pierre Levy, Kelley Vangrin, Marie Borglum, Harold Espen, Beth Brothman and Mrs. Kumiega's 4th grade class at Cloverbank Elementary School.
Now that I am back to work properly I would like to start choosing the best video mash ups of the week and putting them on the blog again like I did before. Since I have been away the 'Seek Point' system has come into play. This is an awesome new addition to WildEarth and something that will be very useful when choosing the weeks highlights. If you feel that you have a 'Seek Point' that is worth looking at for the weeks highlights then please send it to highlights@wildearth.tv.
I have chosen a few Seek Points and videos for this weeks highlights. It has been an unbelievable week with Rexon (the master tracker). We caught a glimpse of Karula's cubs for the first time, spent time with the Nkahuma's and found the Mapogo's again. Not half bad! Enjoy.
Emily Wallington

This truly was a spectacular moment and a sighting that will go down in WildEarth history. We have been waiting to see these cubs for quite a while and what a first sighting. She is truly an amazing leopard and I am sure that she will bring these cubs up as well as she bought the last ones up. Well done Dave and well done Karula on your new family.


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Hangover by Amanda Djuma Djunkie
I luuurve the music and the video fits perfectly with it. Well done, this is pure entertainment.

What a stunning piece of music and great choice of shots. They all fit beautifully together and watching it is really very therapeutic. I miss the bush terribly and this just exaggerates it. I have not seen any of your video's before Uncle Monk but this is seriously awesome, please do more.

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Drive Diaries Chapter 3 by Dave Keen
This is really well edited and makes me realize what I have been missing all these months that I have not had a chance to get onto the social network. This is really a celebration of Pieter and his wonderful bush ways. He is still doing crazy things such as jumping out of bushes and wading into the dam to cool off. Thanks David for giving us this diary. I have not had a chance to look at the other chapters yet but I am are they are equally as good.

WE are back!!!

Finally after the longest break in transmission in our history there is a clear and perfect LIVE stream leaving Djuma and spreading around the globe.
It has been an immensley challenging and difficult few days. But with a dedicated crew, the help of our friends at Telkom, Djuma and RadioActive eventually WE figured it out. Three switches, a serial card in a router, a VCM card in the Matis node and the whole Internet radio had to be replaced.
Anyway, the technical team will now rest while the content team (all the same people, lol) now take the batton and run. So at 16h30 CAT Rexon will once again venture out into the wilderness WE have all gotten to know so well and do his level best to find for us whomsoever is out there lurking in the long green grass ... it truly is in our nature! :-)

Monday, 2 February 2009

WE are getting closer ...

It has been an intensley frustrating few days, but there are a few reasons to be hopeful.
OK, firstly the mobile phones are working at Djuma again!! This is huge. It means that Herman doesn't have to keep driving up to Gowrie gate every so often to make contact with the outside world. Also, Pete Braat has cut his break short by one day, flew from Cape Town to Nelspruit this morning, and is about 30 minutes out of Djuma right now.
Herman has managed to establish that the microwave link that gets our main Internet connection to Djuma (not the link that the LIVE stream goes out on) is 'fried'! It would have been right in the path of the lightning bolt. A new one has been configured in Hoedspruit, but the technician wjo needs to bring it to Djuma and install it, is stuck on the wrong side of the Blyde river and is having to sandbag a crossing to get to us!! More on that in a few hours ...
The main issue of course is our stream line to Pretoria. Well, after hours and hours on the phone I have finally managed to achieve a consensus that the Matis node is the problem and not our router ... phew! As a result, Telkom is now trying to dispatch a technician from Nelspruit who will then replace the interface card in the Matis node, and with a bit of luck the stream will 'pop up' on your desktops moments later. :-)
WE know that you are all waiting around the world and hopefully it will not be for too much longer, although i do suspect that it will only happen tmorrow morning (hopefully in time for the AM drive). I would also like to apologise to our brand new client; SomethingTV for the delay of the launch of WildEarth.TV on your platform. WE promise to make it up with the best wildlife channel in the world ... it's in our nature.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

WE are still down, but working hard.

There has been little progress since the last update. WE are still not broadcasting, making this the longest break in transmission since WildEarth began broadcasting LIVE 24/7on the 27th April 2007!
The splicing team arrived from Johannesburg and managed to get their part of this puzzle fixed in pretty short order. They then slept last night at the camp and left at dawn this morning. One waterhole camera 'came up' in final control, but stopped working again at 19h00 last night. WE do not yet know why.
The bigger problems of the backhaul line, Internet connections, phone lines and mobile phone systems remain unsolved. What we do now know is that the microwave system that connects Djuma to the outside world is in fact working, but the lightning strike damaged all the systems at Djuma. The most critical ... for our broadcast ... is the router on our backhaul line. This device connects our encoders to the origin servers in Pretoria via the diginet line. Everything looks good on the router, in other words the lights are on and it is correctly plugged in, but the Matis node just does not see that there is a router.
While Herman has been doing his level best to make some headway, it has been very difficult with him having to drive to Gowrie gate every hour to chat to me on the mobile phone, then go back and try a few things and then drive back to the gate. So WE are trying to get a technician in to Djuma, but that is proving challenging. Pete Braat is in Cape Town on a short break, and he is now trying to get a flight back to Nelspruit, from where he will drive in to Djuma.
WE apologise profusley to our Internet audience and to our Something TV audience in the UK, ut assure you that WE are working hard to try to get back on top of this situation as fast as WE can ... it is in our nature.