I was out working on one of our camps today situated high on our rock outcrop called Ol Donyo Nanyuki when i saw these wild dogs sleeping below me. they never saw me but they did appear spooky, jumping up at make beleive things behind them then settling down again for more rest. its always exciting seeing the wild dogs but it was only afterwards when i was looking at our pictures that i noticed one had been collared. This will have been put on by the good folks at the Mpala research center who run, among all sorts of other research a wild dog project. you can read more here (unfortunately you can see that the image that WCS has used is from Tanzania or southern Africa – Sable aren’t from Laikipia!):
Parm, one of our rangers pointed out the following larvae the other day while we were walking across a large plain together. the larvae at that time was not exposed and the only indication of his presence was a simple non descript hole. parm said in swahili “watch”. He cut a piece of grass, chewed the tip a bit and then wiggled the end near the entrance to the hole. The larvae attached, pinched the grass and with a smooth motion parm removed him from his hole where i photographed him before returning him to his home.
I reckon this must be some kind of beetle larvae. I have never seen tiger beetles here and he is far too big but he does resemble their larvae. Anyway he is very predatory and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one of the large nocturnal ground beetles that prowl the savanna in search of prey. ideas welcome.
A D’arnaud’s barbet has become our new best friend as he has taken to stealing tomatoes from our stores near our office. he has no fear and runs between the legs of our seats as we eat lunch (often times tomato free).
I nearly stepped on this nesting sandgrouse the other day while working on road repairs. It flushed in front of me. amazing how hidden he was. I didn’t know Mr. Lichtenstein’s sandgrouse helped with brooding.
He was on 3 eggs which he returned to within 15 minutes.
Finally found a pancake tortoise north of Tumaren during a walking safari. what an interesting species.
These guys occupy the cracks between rocks and have soft shells that enable them to wedge deep in crevices for protection.
about 5 days ago, Kerry’s mum, julia rescued a giant rat who was being attacked by a black-tip mongoose. the rat is no ordinary rat, he is massive, and the largest rat-like rodent in Africa. He is a Gambian rat and this is the species that some people are using in Mozambique to look for landmines. Gambian rats tame down very quickly and are actually very friendly (as you can see from the pictures).
Anyway, a bit off subject as this report comes from Nairobi and not Laikipia but i thought it would be of interest for everyone to know about our recovering Gambian rat (he has sustained some minor injuries to the face and jaw but seems to be recovering fast). cheers, jc