The Musings of a Mouse - January 2019
Summer is really here, hot and dry and a little windy. Thirsty elephants and giraffes are drinking huge amounts of water every day from the dams.
When I sit at my desk in Nairobi, I often get a really sore back - a tight knot in my left shoulder. Luckily, when I am here, that never happens, as I am forever jumping up to chase the baboons trying to steal the camp chickens, or food out of my kitchen. The hyraxes also spend a lot of time trying to pinch the soap from the shower under the tree. Then I hear the elephants coming in for a drink at the dam from about 11.30 in the morning, when its getting warm and I just have to check they are all quite satisfied.
Last week Charlie joined the KWS rangers who came with the vet to dart an elephant who had two bullets into his back foot. With a huge swelling, they lanced it and relieved the pressure, packed it with an incredible healing mud-like substance and filled him with antibiotics.
The most amazing thing about elephants is their ability to communicate over large distances. We saw them at a Christmas gathering in Samburu and Buffalo Springs moving north-east through Shaba in huge herds. 65 elephants walking along towards one, truly is a phalanx of beasts. In order for their normal homeland territory to recover, they were moving away to follow the new green growth and standing water in the normally dry eastern part of the country, where they seldom go these days.
After riding though the Wadi Rum in Jordan on horseback last month, we realise that our dry country is not as dry as it can get!
Larger prides of lions in the Mara meant that we found a number of hippo carcasses - a somewhat unusual prey for these cats. Weighing in at 3,000 kgs, a hippo is a lot of feed for five lions, even if they are big and hungry and can eat 25% of their own body weight in one sitting, (like me on Christmas day). The hyena insisted on sharing and it was lucky as the smell was pretty intense by day four. The crocodiles stayed clear of the dead hippo in the water when the lions were around but got what was left.
The cheetahs seem to have a new survival technique and four males (not siblings) have joined together so that they can catch more feed and protect each other against the thieving lions and hyena who are always stealing their kills.
Hoping for some grass rains in February to keep us all going before the long rains in May.