Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains: Kwaitile Secretes her Kill from Tingana …
As expected our first visit this morning was to check on Salayexe and cub, to see if there was any further action and if the kill had attracted the attention of any other interested animals. It was a really miserable morning, and we quickly detoured past the area where we saw the cheetah yesterday, but there was absolutely no sign of him.
When we arrived at Salayexe and cub we found that all signs of the kill had disappeared, but a bunch of hopeful hyenas were still lurking around, sniffing at the ground and gazing expectantly into the tree.
And Salayexe and cub?
They were lying in a dry river bed. Did I say dry? Rather, it was a very damp riverbed, but no flowing water – yet. It was a lovely sighting in the lightly falling drizzle. Then the two went to lie on the riverbank, but before long their sports started as they chased around, dashing this way and that – up and down different trees, followed by some serious and strenuous rough-and-tumble close to our vehicle.
It was worth being out just to see the wonderful interaction again between the two, but as the rain was starting to fall quite heavily we returned to the Lodge.
This afternoon we decided to drive around and see what animals were visible. Not very much as it turned out, but we did spot a very non-photogenic herd of damp elephants before a call came through that a leopard had been spotted. We arrived to find her disappearing into a thicket. It was quite dark, and it was great to see a Scop’s Owl perched in a tree close to the road – we used spotlights in the gloom.
Then we heard that Tingana and Kwatile were walking through a lodge so we hurried there and positioned ourselves so that we could see them as they emerged from the Lodge grounds. We got some terrific shots as they came out –
And now the action really started – Kwatile spotted a Scrub Hare and was after it in a split second. In its confusion the hare ran right up to us, and Kwatile caught it right next to our vehicle. There was a bit of a squeal as she caught the hare, and not wanting Tingana to see and maybe share her meal, she slouched away from him to start eating a few meters away.
But the squeal had alerted those ever-vigilant pirates of the bush, and it didn’t take long for a number of hyenas to arrive excitedly on the scene. Tingana and Kwatile were outnumbered and chose the wisest action – way up in the heights of a tall tree. (We got some wonderful shots of all of this).
The hyenas hung around, gazing expectantly into the tree, but when they realized that there was nothing forthcoming for them, they slunk away into the darkness.
Kwatile polished off her kill on her own, and when done, the two jumped down from the tree and resumed their flirting and mating – almost as if there had been no interruption to their honeymoon.
Tomorrow we would like to just see what the bush has for us …
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