During the month of September the team on the Ongava Game Reserve did a 72-hour game count. This is done regularly to check the populations of each species on the reserve for assistance with population control. During one of these counts, we were entertained by two male lions having a fight amongst a pride of females. Apparently it was the elder of the two just wanting to show the younger male who was the boss. That’s testosterone for you!
World Rhino Day
World Rhino Day was celebrated on 22 September. At Little Ongava, the day started with a cake that was made in the shape of a black rhino before Franco took the guests to the hide with some refreshments and snacks. He gave them a talk on the introduction of black and white rhino onto Ongava Game Reserve. It seems the rhinos of the reserve knew it was their day and two bulls, known to us as Asterix and Obelix, came to drink. They performed well for the guests, starting a bit of a fight, pushing each other back and forth and causing some excitement.
Rhino Notching Programme
The Ongava Reserve did its annual rhino notching during September. The Research Centre and Anti-Poaching team dart young rhino between two and three years old. They get a small mark on their ears so they can be identified in the future, blood is taken for analysis, they are measured and finally microchips are implanted in their horns and in their bodies. When a rhino dies, scavengers will eat the carcass and possibly the microchip, while hyaena are famous for taking away the head and the horns. With both the horn and body implanted with a chip, the individual can normally be identified regardless of what parts end up where!