Vultures Galore

Its always nice to see vultures coming into carcasses in our area.  Vultures, are taking such a terrible hit globally and even here in Kenya trends have shown that dramatic declines in particular areas, including Laikipia.  The following images of Ruppel’s Griffon Vultures were taken on a zebra carcass a few months back.

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Vultures

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A vulture waiting for its turn

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Karisia Walking Safaris

 

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Mongoose Menagerie

We have three species of mongoose on Tumaren and after finally getting a picture of a Slender Mongoose (Black-tipped Mongoose) we can now present all three below.

First our only social mongoose, The Dwarf Mongoose, a diurnal small species:

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Second our nocturnal species, The White-tailed mongoose:

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And lastly, The Slender Mongoose a species that is for the most part solitary (but you often times see pairs together).

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More Lions with a Zebra Kill

Not long after our images of Lolmelil on the zebra killed by the snare it appears that his lionesses made a zebra kill of their own.  This was not far away and we were able to get the following images on the carcass.  You can see the young cubs in the initial images and an adult female with them, in the third.  The adult looked at the camera in this image and the next minute, like with Lolmelil, the camera was on its back taking images of whiskers, eyes and paws (like the last image here). In the morning the camera was found 30 meters away from the kill site, covered in dust and under a bush – These moultrie cameras are definitely tough.

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Lolmelil The Lion

Lolmelil, a large male lion who we have seen on a number of occasions but never photographed finally made an appearance at a dead common zebra we found a couple weeks back. The zebra had sadly died from a snare that had slowly strangled and cut it.  Parm put the camera out and got these great images of Lolmelil.  If you look very closely in the first image you can see that he has a radio collar.  The collar was put on by the good folks at the Laikipia Predator Project . Learn more about their work here:

http://www.lionconservation.org/

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He first arrived at 10:58 pm and we got this image and another.  He must have spooked from human scent because he did not return again for an hour and a half. The last image below is the last we got of lolmelil, he looked at the camera (which makes a slight red glow when using its infrared flash) and then a minute later the camera was on its back for the rest of the night – I suppose he wanted to eat in peace.

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Another Male Leopard on Tumaren

This  Beautiful Male Leopard was  photographed above our offices several weeks ago on a gerenuk kill.  Losorogol was patrolling when he found the stashed kill. Gabriel then went out to set the camera.  This male is larger than the one we photographed before and i think it is also one that i saw 1 year back near our dam.  the greatest thing about this camera is that it enables us to begin to identify the individual animals.  Good Job Losorogol and Gabriel.!

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Dead Baby Elephant

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.

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Elephant Nearly Destroys Camera-trap

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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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Honeybadger Returns

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.

Here is an image of the culprit:

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Aardvark Atlast!

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!):

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