Day 1 (October 30th)
At 07:00, Johan Malan of the Game Capture Unit from South African National Parks Board (SANParks), together with three assistants, brought four cage traps to the Singita Concession. The cage traps would be used to capture two leopards, a male and a female, for collaring. Thomas Ramabulana, the section ranger from this area allowed four of his staff to come and help. In total, there were nine of us. Aeron and Francois also tagged along.
Staff of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) have been evacuated from DR Congo, as things remain tense between the Congolese army and rebel militia.
Staff were moved from the office in Goma across the border to the town of Gisenyi in Rwanda.
From IGCP's Jamie in Rwanda:
Fighting has broken out again in eastern DR Congo between rebels under General Laurent Nkunda and the Congolese Army. The rebels, who have been hiding out in Virunga National Park, have just taken the park headquarters. The park is home to about 200 of the 720 mountain gorillas.
"Over 50 rangers were forced to flee into the forests and abandon the park station, in fear of their lives," a park statement said.
In the last blog I spoke about animals crossing the border in to Mozambique. Sometimes they don’t come back!!
On Friday October 24th I went in to Mozambique together with Francois and Erin and ended up on the border with the Kruger National Park. About 80 metres from the fence we spotted a lioness that lay motionless against a tree trunk. She didn’t look like she was alive, so we cautiously walked towards her.
Upon arrival we saw that she was dead and had a big wound around her neck.