We met this month with what we thought would be a typical October, but we were quite mistaken. From very cold, bundled-in-your-jacket mornings to blistering hot 48°C.
The rainy season started with an almighty downpour! A total of 166.5mm in 24 hours was recorded and all the pans and rivers are full to the brim!
A BBC film crew stayed with us at Vundu Camp while working on a project for another Planet Earth documentary. This time, their focus was to film the behaviour of the elephants in Mana Pools that stand on their hind legs. It was a 25 day shoot, featuring Boswell, Fred, Harry and Tusker. We look forward to seeing the Mana Pools sequence in their Africa episode which will be released in a few years.
AWARE Trust also came to treat an injured elephant bull we had reported, with a suspected gunshot wound. His left hind leg had a deep penetrating open wound and was massively swollen and he could not bare any weight on it.
Keith and Lisa tranquilized the bull to further assess his injuries. They used a metal detector and also took X-rays of the injured leg but there was too much swelling to make a diagnosis. The wound was emptied and cleaned. Sadly 3 days after treatment the elephant died.
Sightings of the Month!
Lions, leopards and cheetah! Lions were seen most days and we are happy to report that the 5 cubs are still doing well. There were also more leopard sightings this month and we are still seeing the female with her 2 cubs just 3km from camp. Cheetah being the most rare cat sighting has us the most excited!
The last update on the Nyakasanga wild dog pack is that 7 of the 11 puppies are still alive and well. In the Nyamatusi pack there is only 1 pup that has survived and we hope that it will make it through the rainy season so that we may follow their story again in the 2018 season.
We are also seeing an amazing increase in the elephant population to Mana Pools, not only this month, but this whole year. This is proof that our efforts with Bushlife Support Unit is making a difference!