Saturday, January 8, 2011

More on Antelope Park

The next day found us on horseback, searching once again for the elusive animals. The list was impressive: giraffe, zebra wildebeest, kudu as well as the blesbok, tsessebe, duiker and steenbock – most of those could have walked right up to me and I wouldn’t have known what they were. We did end up seeing many steenbock on the trip but still…I couldn’t point one out because there were so many small, antelope type animals out there. The guides on the trip were phenomenal; they could locate and identify the animals when they were so far away they were no larger than a gnat! If you waited, sure enough, it would be the animal they said (or at least we took their authoritative assertion as authentic).
I can accept that these are carnivorous animals and that obviously, they do indeed need to learn to stalk and kill their food to be successful. However, I declined the opportunity to watch the lions race out of their compound to tear apart the remains of an animal and watch them snarl at each other as they ripped through the carcass. It was, however, popular with the rest of the group. It is set up so that the bloody haunch is placed on one side of the bars with the people, cameras ready, standing on the opposite side. The lions are released from the far side of the enclosure and you get a great view of them racing towards you, hell bent for the carcass lying on the ground (lions are scavengers also). It was reported to be quite a rush to have them careening all out towards you. It was noted that the males savagely defended their portion, snarling at others that came near while the females picked up a portion and then settled down to eat it in companionable silence. Stay tuned…I’ll add the video when I get it from Jeff. 

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