Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 5 - Game Ranger - Rhino capture

Let the adventure begin!

The drums (wake up call) went off at 6 am, then we had some coffee and rusks ("müsli skorpor"). To be honest, I hadn't sleept that good during the night. Heard a lot of noises which made it a bit hard to relax... I was convinced that it was something big, aggresive and meat eating animal outside our tent during the night. I could hear a lot of barking. Thought it was baboon and was afraid that they was about to enter the tent!!!
But in the morning (or during the day) I found out that it was the impalas!!! hahaha We got shit scared of impalas! very funny!
But after laughing a lot and a few cups of coffe we started to get a bit warmer (it was only 3-4 degrees in the morning) and was able to start the lecture, about 7am. But we just got started with the introduction, when Brian (one of the guides) came running. Telling us to pack our bags and a lot of water to drink. We were going to join the Kruger Vet (Marcus) and Sections Ranger (Sandra) when they were going to anesthetize and tag some of the rhinos. Yay!! So we left the books and headed of in the jeeps.
Study deck (also used as dining and dance area)
We headed of to Palms Spring (an area where the rhinos usually are) and talked to one of the trackers that was waiting for the chopper (with the vet and section ranger).

But the chopper got delayed in Mosambuiqe, so we had to stay out here in the heat for 4 hours. Used the time to talk about the area, identify some trees, talket about archaeology and got to know each other a bit.

 We were only 3 students in the Game Ranger course but there was another course (Conservation course) joining as well, from Botswana and a film crew that was following Brian and doing a documentory about his life.

Finaly!! the chopper arrived

 And out came Sandra (Section ranger) and then the chopper headed off again, to go and put down the rhinos that the trackers had found further on.

The film crew is doing an interview with Brian while he's driving. 
He's explaining why we need to follow and stay close by.
Second car is following too. Driven by Daniella

Here it is! At least one of them. This is the cow.You can also see the film crew, Sections Ranger Sandra and Vet Marcus back. 

Sandra is taking some blod samples from the cow's ear to check healt status. They also took some tissue samples for DNA tracing.
One of the trackes with the rhino bull

 Marus is explaining why they are tagging the rhinos ears
And then, when we where ready, he did a full description of what happened and why.
And off they whent!

And in the afternoon, we went on a drive (Brian is driving, our Instructor Ralf sat next to him and the girl  (just forgot her name :() from the film crew up front in the tracker seat) to Mangeba lookout where we wathced the sun go down by the Limpopo river! And as soon as the sun had set we heard leopard just behind us! Cool and scary, because it was pretty dark when we heard it.
 Took a quick shower after the night drive, listening to the hyenas howling close to camp! Soooo cool sound! I'll try to record it for you! But wow, what a first day ey?!

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