Friday, 9 March 2012

The rebirth of the Kalahari


Young Wildebeest at play

And they call this a desert! We have experienced so much rain here that I am very tempted to swap the Ganda for a hovercraft! Truth be told though, the amount of rainfall here has been way above average. With the rain comes new life and the Kalahari is as green as a golf course with bunkers to match.

I firmly believe that the Baby Stork Company has been running at full capacity this past week as there are plenty of new arrivals everywhere you look! The warthogs have a few little piglets running behind them, days-old baby springbok hide in the grass as I drive by and the young wildebeest calves seem to be able to run before they can walk. Our Cleopatra too is bursting with the promise of life as she walks around the Gosa territory with her tennis ball-sized stomach. Yet the wind carries the smell of a dastardly deed that may grace our presence, and I am not referring to the WildEarth crew.

Our suspicions that another female named Delilah may be pregnant are slowly being proven true. We lost sight of her two nights ago when her and two other family members slept in the Sour Grass burrow while Cleo and the rest of the family slept in the Camelthorn burrow. We are not 100% sure she is pregnant, but her belly is a bit more “bulgy looking” than the other females and her move to split away from Cleopatra may be a way of Delilah protecting her pups from the very likely situation of Cleopatra ascerting her dominance and killing Delilah’s pups to secure the survival of her own litter. But who knows! These things are so incredibly hard to predict and I stand to be corrected on my theories surrounding the situation. Oooh it’s like Dallas or Days of Our Lives but with a much better set and more natural expressions!

Admittedly, in terms of family unity, a lot can still go wrong with our Gosa gang. Cleopatra is slightly young to be an Alpha female and so my suspicions are that her dominance is not quite at the level of assertiveness that it should be. In time we may see a more prominent Cleopatra rise above her pyramidal pile of dirt at the entrance to her burrow and stare down any competition that crosses her path.

Until then, we shall watch and wait and allow this saga to unfold in front of us in the months to come.

Rob’s song for the day: My baby just cares for me – Nina Simone

Keep in touch
Rob

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