Everyone thinks about South Africa in two ways, a nation recovering from racial apartheid or a long lasting image of Mandela and what he stood for. I am not here for the people per say, but for the amazing animals and creatures that reside In this country. I unlike most other biologists, do not go on a safari. I have taken two South African park rangers to help me set up camp. My camp lies a mile and a half away from Lanner gorge. My location is precise because I could be eaten by a saltwater crocodile if I am to close to the gorge. Different kinds of hornbills and baboons are near my camp, I even saw a mongoose or two. The national park is loud with noise but a different noise. The noise that is without destruction of which humans create. My camp is set up and I’m right to work working and examining different animals I was examining. I continued to read on some of the impala’s and antelopes. Back at my college we we’re studying the anatomy of these animals and how they behave. a good way to see this is when they are under attack or alarmed. When lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, etc attack them they are quick to panic.
I must venture out a few miles to find a herd, which means while I am sleeping I’m safe, for no predators have prey around here. Night sets on the camp and I soon drift to sleep. I am awaken by a lizard like thing outside my tent. A monitor lizard is licking my tent and making quite a wreck. Although these animals are not venomous like the komodo dragon, a bite from this lizard can leave me with a terrible infection. So I busted out my best growling noise as to hint I was a predator. Originally it didn’t work but after a couple of tries the lizard scurried off. The sounds of loud baboons and bird wars alerts me that it is morning. I get up and prepare my self a mini breakfast. When I arrive to Lanner gorge it seemed to be crocodile hour. crocodiles we’re plenty and have seemed to recover from the outbreak of pantsteatitis. I also spot a couple of antelopes and a lioness in the meadows of the grass waiting to pounce. My binoculars give me a close enough view of the lioness striking unfortunately for the lion family, the antelope escaped. hunting a big and fast animal that reacts to the littlest of alert must be a tiring and frustrating hunt. I follow the antelope as it runs almost four miles away from where it was attacked.
It takes the antelope several minutes to be off high alert, but finally he calms down. A leopard recognizes the exact same thing. The sly and wise leopard waits and waits and then finally attacked the antelope, dealing a blow so fatal he kills it in one attack. one grown antelope will last the lone leopard several days, he will not need to hunt for that time. The leopard’s biggest threat will be scavengers as hyenas and vultures are adept to finding and stealing left overs. The leopard will have to find a clever way to either hide or protect the leftover antelope.The leopard even gives me a warning scare, after that notion I got in my trailer and left his territory, I returned back to the gorge this time in te boat. The crocodiles seemed very interested in my appearance among their float, but my boat was to big and secure for them to attack. They began to become less interested in me as a wildebeest was spotted struggling in the water. The crocs quickly reacted and caught the wildebeest. After fighting to survive for about 45 seconds, the wildebeest was unsuccessful and was eaten by the crocs. The killing of the giant animal seemed to cause a territorial dispute. A group of other crocodiles pulled up on the couple who had claimed stake to the kill.This is what crocodile experts call the property of the croc ganglands.