Once a month the rangers compile a comprehensive game report summarising the activities of each member of the MalaMala 7 (Big 5 plus cheetah and wild dog). As our CyberDiaries tend to focus mainly on the big cats, the herbivores don’t get much more than a cursory mention.
To this end we’ve decided to post a brief summary of rhino, buffalo and elephant sightings for the month. That way those of you with a soft spot for these animals will also get your fix.
There is a link to the full and unabridged scientific reports on the MalaMala website. HINT – Those of you that preferred the original wildlife diary posts (pre-Social Media) will probably love these in-depth updates.
There were several small herds around at one stage, and then towards the end of the month it seems as though they all banded together as there was one very large herd on Flockfield. Several buffalo were taken during the month by the various lion prides. Times ahead will be difficult for the buffalo as the grasses become less nutritious and water sources start to dwindle.
Rhino have been scarce at times throughout the month. But the regulars are still seen in their respective haunting grounds. The female with the exceptionally long horn was seen with a very bad limp. On observation, it appeared that she had a very large wound on her left leg (possibly from a male that got overly aggressive towards her calf). Most nights the rhino seem to head down towards the river for a drink before moving back away towards higher ground for the night.
June is always the month when elephants become abundant. At midday one just has to drive along the course of the Sand River to see all the elephant herds in the river. There is still a fair quantity of water in the river, which should last until the rainy season comes. It is also this time of year that the bulk of the elephants diet switches from grasses to leaves, bark and roots.
Total sightings for the month