"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." (Mark Twain : The Innocents Abroad, 1869)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Eating On The Run

The following is an other perspective on the migration written by Eli Weiss of the WildiZe Foundation whose company I enjoyed at Serian.

Our sleek bodies are as golden as the long grass, my mates and I. Our powerful shoulders, legs, ripping claws and three-inch teeth make us expert at killing our prey. Unheard and unseen, we slide like silk through the long grass, finding a good spot hunker down … and we
wait. Across the river we see the strange metal boxes rushing to and fro, filled with the
Two-Legged-Ones, who’s heads pop up and down out the tops and sides, generally making funny chattering noises while they point and click shiny things at us. Since we were little cubs we’ve grown up with them and know that they are a part of the constantly moving landscape around us. Even though they can be scary at times, we know it’s only when they’re out of their funny moving boxes that they can be dangerous, but most times they are not a threat and really don’t bother us much. We can always melt back into the bush, there are many places we can go where they cannot. Anyway, right now, they don’t even seem to see us, so we pay them little attention. Today all of us are focused on the river waiting for the wildebeest to plunge across in their endless cycle of their Great Migration.

All morning we’ve been watching great clouds of dust rise and fall as the cloud cover disappears leaving the burning sun in its wake, baking down on everyone and everything, driving the wildebeest and zebras to unbearable thirst after their long trek. We see them gathering, bunching, tensing; nervously skittering down to the river—they don’t see or smell us
in their desperate need for water. They must drink. It is the pressure of their huge numbers that forces them across the river towards us. We’re ready and we wait, it won’t be long now. We’ve picked a good spot…the bank is steep and difficult to climb on this side with a narrow gap to reach the safety of the open plains. We’re in position, crouched, tense and ready! Ah! There she goes, the first of my lioness’s springs into action––she splits off a small group –dazed and confused from their charge through the water, they spin off in a panic, where my second lioness springs out in front of them, spinning them into perfect position for ambush, where all 500 pounds of my rippling muscular form leaps forward running up the gap behind them, my black mane flying, and with my powerful legs, paws and claws I seize upon the rear flank of panicked herd.
My mates zero in! We’ve got one! Outstanding feline purr-fection ! Time for lunch.

The text and images are : © 2010 WildiZe Foundation

1 comment:

WildiZe said...

HI John! Thanks for posting the story, well done my friend! It was certainly a pleasure to make your aquaintence.. too bad we both missed that wonderful little spectacle of the lizard with the grasshopper!
A reminder to us that if we're going to carry a camera, then, carry it all the time!!!

I hope the rest of your stay at Serian was wonderful.. your presence added to the overall excellence that is Serian Camp!

Perhaps we'll cross paths again.... stay safe, keep well, and enjoy the 'life' bits.... Africa tells us just how short life can be, so we may as well work to enjoy it, eh?
All the best,