Thursday, December 11, 2008

ACR Spots an African Wildcat!

The highlight of our trip was seeing an AWC up close and personal. One night after returning from a day at Kruger National Park, Kylie got out of the car to open/close the gate to the private reserve we were staying at and in front of the car, in the glare of the headlights, slinked an AWC! Louise and I sat in the car in awe as we watched the cat stop and look at us, then disappear through a crack in the fence. Kylie hopped back in the car asking if we witnessed what she had seen…we had spotted an AWC in the wild! In the morning, we excitedly told the owner what we saw, and he said AWCs hang around his house on the property. We explained our project to him, and he said he would like to have more relocated to his reserve. He said he has not seen any domestic cats on his land, so chances are good that the AWCs would remain genetically pure. Plus, he does not have any larger predators on his property, so the AWCs would not have to compete for food. That day, we visited the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre adjacent to the reserve. They have eight AWCs in their breeding program. We saw one of them while there. The Centre’s mission is to (besides education) breed endangered species and relocate them to ensure their survival.

HOEDSPRUIT:

(African Wildcat)

(Orphaned Zebra with Surrogate Sheep Mother)

(Male Lion)


KRUGER NATIONAL PARK:

(Male Elephant that did NOT like us)

(Baobab Tree)

(Female Lion stalking Kudu)

(African Buffalo)

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