Working Guest Story

Stuck in the Mud – Field Work with the Ecology Team

  • by Alison Wheeler January 18, 2020
Stuck in the Mud – Field Work with the Ecology Team

We have had some amazing storms – they appear out of the blue. It can be hot dry one minute and then around 5 o’clock thunder and lightning lit up the sky, before a beautiful rainbow appeared. (See featured image at the top)

In Namibia when it rains, it REALLY rains! Here’s what the area in front of the rondavels looked like after about 20 minutes of raining – it became a lake! Half an hour later it was all over, and the sun appeared briefly for half an hour before dark. It was beautiful.

I went out on the reserve with the ecology team. We checked all the camera traps and replaced the Sim cards and batteries. All went well until we drove through a very big deep puddle and the Land Rover got stuck. We all jumped out and tried to put branches under the tyres to give traction. After several attempts and pushes we finally got the truck free – well driven Carolina!

The rain has turned Namibia green which is just beautiful to see. The downside of the green surge is along with the beautiful plants, the not so nice ones emerge as well. One of the tasks I am assigned is to work on clearing the cheetah pens of an invasive species that grows little thorns. If it’s allowed to remain, it hurts the cheetahs’ paws. I worked with a team of interns from the United States to rake and clear the sprouting plants away.

I also began helping with a very exciting task – exercising the cheetahs. Captive cheetahs need to run to keep them in good health and since CCF cares for a number of resident non-releasable cheetahs, they have a cheetah lure set-up in a pen. The lure system is a pulley and line that has pieces of rag attached to it. Cheetahs run after the rag which is great fun to see.

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