A baby elephant was found dead today on us below our dam in an area the elephants have been spending a good deal of time. The carcass appears to be about three days old. There were lion tracks nearby as well as Hyena but our rangers felt that neither killed it. Because not all of the carcass was yet consumed they thought he may have died from disease and that the hyenas had then fed on it. We have put the camera trap on the carcass. Poor little thing.
A mixed group of female elephants with young visited one of our small dams recently at 8 in the morning. That was nice and we managed to get a number of nice images of them as they drank, many images framed by the legs and belly of a foreground animal.
Then one hour later, clearly tracking the movements of the females, a lone bull passed. The camera-trap took this one image of him passing at 9:09am
The next image at 9:22 was more of a self portrait. Clearly, after kicking over the camera, the ele thought the lens looked very interesting.
The Bull then sat and photographed himself dozens of times as he looked down at the odd machine. When he finally left the camera it was still facing upward and for the remainder of the day it shot hundreds of images of the passing clouds. Elephants are very cheeky.
Last week we had only three bee hives left near our offices. We love our local honey here, particularly what we are able to collect after the Acacia mellifera flower(wait – a – bit – thorn). Unfortunately, our honey has also been very popular with our friend the Honeybadger. Today, there only hangs one bee hive outside our office and the consensus is that it has only one night left before it too is in shatters on the ground. Note that the Honeybadger or Ratel is the nocturnal animal often shown in wildlife films as they follow Honeyguides, the birds that lure him toward a hive so that they too can feed on the larva and wax.
After months of trying we have finally caught up with our resident Aardvark. Aardvarks have a tendency to sleep in one hole one night and another hole another night. This made camera trapping our quarry rather difficult. During the day of July 28th one of our Rangers named Losorogol tracked Mr. Aardvark to a particular hole and could see by the movement of soil within the hole (they typically dig in deeper and semi bury the entrance hole when disturbed) that there was an Aardvark in residence. We promptly placed our camera and this is what we got – arguably one of the cutest animals in the animal kingdom (Hooray!):