NamibRand Cheetahs – August 2009

  • by CCF Staff August 31, 2009
NamibRand Cheetahs – August 2009

The five male cheetahs doing great and are are still moving around Keerweder, they are doing well and in good condition. They visited the guest house Thursday night of which one entered the camp through the small gate at the guest house (we are not sure if it was already open or not) and walked around the camp. No sighting for Shanti but I think she is around the Ysterkop. I was doing my spoor count sampling for my project on Thursday on the road from the main road to the ‘singing stones’ and I came across several tracks (fresh and old) of a lonely cheetah which have walked toward Keerweder from the koppie and back. I don’t think one of the boys will walk alone without the others.

After some effort of spraying Ammonia solution around the guest house where they use to mark, last night they were back again, marking on the ‘stoep’ and wall as usual. The strong smell of Ammonia solution did not make them stay away from the guest house at all.

According to Florian observation for the day, they are up at Boscia. He spent the day observing them climbing up trees and marking. It seems like he left them hunting. He will be observing them tomorrow and I will send the data for the weekend on Monday.

August 8 – 11: Sorry for the delay the report is late. The boys are doing well and in good condition. They are still moving between Keerweder, Toskaan and Wolwedans (Zebra dam). They were up at Toskaan yesterday and today they are back on Wolwedans side. They hunted an adult male springbok on Saturday and it seems like they have hunted on Monday as well. They were seen by the staff drinking at Porcupine waterhole with light blood marks on their faces on Monday. They have visited the guesthouse last night but they did not mark as they usually do.

August 10: NamibRand female cheetah
The female is still active (as of three days ago when the most current point was recorded), and seems to be ranging slightly further afield. As you’ll see from the map, she is also shifting position somewhat westwards – still for the most part of Zaries, but also slipping over a couple of times onto the unnamed farm adjacent to it.

August 13: The five males at NamibRand momentarily in trouble:
Firstly, the boys hunted and have fed well. I have a very interesting day yesterday observing them feeding on adult female springbok carcass. It was next to the fence but there is no sign if they have used the fence to catch it as they have done it last month (chased the springbok into the pen fence). They were full and poor things can barely walk, found them resting in the tree near the main road on Wolwedans side. After some minutes of observing Mushara woke up, mark the trunk of the tree and then showed us where the kill was. He walked toward the bush and starts feeding on a springbok kill, it was fresh and half eaten. It was approximately 15 m in the bush from the tree were they were resting. Ra and Kia remained in the tree still resting while Cadbury and Lindt joined Mushara on the kill.

In the afternoon I got a report from Tok Tokkie guide who drove from Keerweder to Tok Tokkie that the boys are stuck in the corridor on the main road (between the two fence for Wolwedans and Toekoms) and they are trying to find their way, but they are being disturbed by the road users, stopping their cars and observing them. We tried getting them out by opening up the gates to let them find the way into the reserve and finally we succeeded, all five find their way back into the reserve. We left them walking toward Keerweder yesterday late afternoon, no sighting for them today but their signals are around the pen.

August 19: NambRand female
The female continues to move in a relatively small area on the farms of Zaries and Steinhof. She is between 13-16 km from the reserve boundary.

August 28: The boys are doing well and still wondering around Keerweder area marking the guest house occasionally. They have been near Keerweder pan (on Wolwedans side of the road) yesterday when Florian from N/a’an ku sê tracked them. They hunted a male springbok yesterday next to the pan and they have fed well. Florian and his guest were lucky enough to see the males taking over (catching) a springbok. According to the data I got from him, Ra seems to be left walking behind after a kill but there was no report that he was limping.

August 29 – September 2: Not much information about the boys as I have not been able to spend much time with them the past few weeks to observe their behaviour or daily activities. Although I have not been able to find their kills, I am sure they are hunting regularly and this is what we must be worried about if they are hunting or not. Still wondering in the same area, they were resting in the Boscia tree between the cheetah pen and the road from Keerweder to the main road when we saw them in the afternoon. Kia was sitting up very observant while the others were lying down relaxed and undisturbed.

They have not marked the guest house this week, although two of them made a turn at the house yesterday. This time they did not mark (urinate or defecate) on the stoep or wall, they just walked past and sniffed around. We have set up two crushed chili bag on the inside of the fence next to the guest house and applied some lemon juice on the wall and poles just to see if we can get them away from the place.

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