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Predators and Buffalo in Camp

Looking at a satellite image of Ingwelala Camp shows what an oasis we are.

Due to this oasis, it is clear why animals are attracted to our camp.Lions have in the past few weeks been taking advantage of this and preying on weak buffalo.

Predators are frequenting the camp almost daily in search of prey, and not only at night.

It is highly recommended that walking in camp is avoided. In the past month lions killed four buffalos in camp. Where these carcasses posed a threat to human safety, they were dragged into the river bed.

It is a known fact that during the dry seasons of the year, in the Mopani veld where large herds of buffalo are found, they will change from feeding on grass which is very limited, to feeding on the Mopani leaves. At this time of the year Mopani trees have very little tannins in them, preventing the buffalo from eating them during the growth season. Mopani’s are the last trees to lose their leaves in Autumn and the last trees to start producing leaves in spring.

As they have lost their leaves, the Buffalo are searching for alternative food sources. During this time, these animals have become so desperate for food that they have started feeding on the thatch grass at building sites in the camp.

The last picture shows a buffalo lifting the chicken wire with his horns to feed on the thatch. The chicken wire was used to cover and protect the thatch from buffalo grazing.

 

by John Llewellyn