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Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (27-30/01/2014) Day 12 to 15 – Part 1

Nature’s mistakes
Satara Rest Camp has always been my favourite as it is ideal for photography due to the fact that there are more open plains around. Large, mixed herds of animals can be seen along the roads as far as Orpen Camp in the west, Tsokwane Picnic spot in the south, Nwanetse Picnic spot in the east and Olifants Camp in the north. Getting a chalet there for 4 nights was a bonus as it gave me the chance to dry out my things – the mattress took 3 of them – besides, it was a wonderful change from camping. J
Setting out early on the first morning there, we came across a lioness with four cubs of about 2 years of age which she was teaching to hunt. On this trip sofar, we had managed to find at least one lot of lions every day.
The S100 has to be the most popular road in this part of the Park. The road winds along a small watercourse and is a delight in that almost every species of animal found in the Park is seen there. We were headed for my favourite dam at the end of it, about 20km’s away, which was my regular coffee and rusks stop when I am in the area. There has been a lot of rain, so the dam was very full.
All animals have their distinctive markings with which they can be identified such as these on an Impala’s rump and the back of the ears.
I came upon this poor giraffe and noticed the huge and abnormal swellings on the front legs.
Wanting to know what caused them, I sent off an e-mail to  find out and this was the reply: 

“The swellings are obviously associated with the carpus on both limbs, but I was not sure what could have caused this. 

I asked Johan Steyl at Onderstepoort. 

He says, “if it was only one the DD's list could longer (neoplasia, absessation) but because this clearly involves the joints or structure running over them consider the following: 

1. Seroma formation (sinovial or tendon sheath) due to chronic brucellosis can present with painless swellings like these - culture is indicated of fluid if the swellings are fluctuent .  

2. Seroma formation due to past trauma - hyperextension of the joints; physical injury to tendon sheaths running over carpi eg. poorly designed crate during transport

3. If the swellings are solid - possibly carpal ligament injury resulting in joint instability and massive epiphysial exostosis.   
4. Absessation, fracture callus and neoplasia is low on the list with bilateral presentation.”

I hope this helps.”
Vervet Monkeys are found all over South Africa and in places where people feed them, they have become very aggressive unfortunately. This mother and baby were sitting on a log catching the first rays of sunlight after a cloudy and cool start to the day.
So many times I come across wonderful creatures which have been ridden over and killed by people not paying attention to what is on the road in front of them!! All they are looking for is lions for some reason when there is so much else to see!! It makes me sick to think of the amount of species being unnecessarily decimated!! This lovely python which was only about 40cm in length was one of them.
Injuries in a game reserve like this is fairly common to see and this Zebra was lucky to get away with his life. The marks on the belly and rump tell me it was a lion attack which he narrowly escaped from.
Dens for Hyaena cubs is usually made in the water culverts along the roads. Both mother and cubs lay there in order to absorb the warmth from the tarmac. The flies at this time of year can be horrendous and the mother was trying to keep them off her face. She seemed to be peeking out at us to make sure we were not a threat. J


Gaelyn said...

Was yet another grand day at Kruger. Life is often difficult for all animals on this amazing planet. Nice to get the info on the giraffe.

Rhodesia said...

Ha thanks to Gaelyn I have discovered this blog. Fab photos and I love the photo of the python, one of my favourite snakes. Take care Diane

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I agree Gaelyn. The time spent there was amazing and I loved the amount of species we saw.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I am glad you found this one too Diane although the link is on my other blog. :) I love the pythons too. Such a pity one hardly ever sees them.

This trip to Kruger with Gaelyn was amazing with 4 sightings of leopard, two of Black Rhino and at least one pride of lions every day, not to mention all the other species.