A worrisome situation with Gordy…

Zoom in to see this round bone stuck on Gordy’s right hoof.

Yesterday morning, while wildlife watching, we noticed a terrible sight. One of our precious two favorite bushbucks, Gordy Thick Neck, is the other) came up to the veranda closer than usual, looking at us with sorrowful eyes. He leaned toward us as if asking for help. His right hoof was stuck inside what appeared to be a beef or pork an “O” bone, as shown in the main photo.

We were horrified to see this. A seemingly simple situation such as this could result in the death of an animal as the pain worsens, and he’d be unable to move about to roam to feed. He was limping each time he tried to move. Besides, he could have been long gone by the time anyone would show up to help him. We contacted the rangers but never heard back.

We spotted a hippo by the Crocodile River at Amazing Kruger View on Thursday evening while out with Rita and Gerhard.

The vet would have to dart him to remove the bone to remedy this situation. With the number of bushbucks in Marloth Park right now, the expense may have been prohibitive to save one bushbuck.

There was nothing we could do. His massive horns could easily, even if unintentionally, eviscerate a human if he was frightened or startled if we tried to help. All we could do was feed him, comfort him with our soothing voices, and hope that somehow the bone would fall off.

I was especially worried about the lions that have been seen so close to us this past week. Gordy could have easily fallen prey to a lion attack. He could barely walk, let alone run from a predator such as the mighty lion.

A single elephant grazed by the river.

Miracle of all miracles, this morning, Gordy showed up in the garden without the bone. It must have fallen, or he may have been able to coax it off. However, it happened. It was a stroke of good luck. This morning I could see a little indention above his right hoof where the bone must have been cutting into him. But, he seemed like his usual self, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Last night while out to dinner with Rita and Gerhard at Jabula, I couldn’t stop thinking of him. I worried that he’d go off into the bush somewhere and die. But, these animals are very resilient and resourceful, more than we can imagine. They suffer during the dry winter months with little food and water and survive yearly.

Carcasses of various wildlife are found in the bush with building materials, fence parts, and wires wrapped around a part of their body, eventually causing their demise. Sure, many don’t make it through these types of situations. As is the case worldwide, human carelessness and lack of concern for the world’s wildlife rapidly decline the number of various species.

Waterbucks and a hippo at a distance.

We often watch videos on Facebook and Youtube with kind humans making every effort to release wildlife trapped in human garbage, fishing lines, fences, and other materials that can easily result in the extinction of a species. A simple little bone is a perfect example of how much destruction a thoughtless human can perpetrate when tossing out human food to the animals.

Yes, some wildlife consume bones to get to the nutritious bone marrow. But, we overseers of the wildlife in Marloth Park, but be cautious and think twice before tossing out a human food product into the garden. Many say it’s best not to feed at all for this very reason. But, there’s always a reliable and thoughtful means of helping out the wildlife. The best options are pellets, fruit, and vegetables they can easily digest.

It’s always a joy to see elephants and hippos.

Tomorrow we are going to a party by the pool at Jabula to celebrate Leon’s 61st birthday, starting at 10:00 am, ending at 6:00 pm. He’s doing a pig (not a warthog) on a spit and side dishes for the group of about 40, including us and Rita and Gerhard. I will bring my food since I’ve lost interest in eating pigs lately. Humm…I wonder why…

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Photo from one year ago today, February 5, 2021:

A little plant growing on the muddy foot of a bushbuck made us laugh. For more photos, please click here.

Did this really happen in the garden of our bush house?…A somewhat philosophical viewpoint of life in the bush…

The strength and coordination required of a giraffe to bend this low are astounding. We could not believe what we were witnessing.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Later in the day, close to sunset, a wide array of visitors stopped by to check out the action in our garden.  There was plenty as usual.

After six years of world travel, we often say that nothing surprises us, although many things enlighten and enrich our lives. But, on Friday, we found ourselves reeling in awe and wonder over a scene we never expected to unfold before our eyes, a massive giraffe taking a drink from the tiny cement pond in our garden.

When we spotted these beautiful long legs in the neighbor’s driveway, we practically held our breath waiting to see what would happen.  

We say, “our” garden since over this past over nine months, this garden often filled with wondrous wildlife, has been ours in the fact that we’ve cultivated it with generous offerings, welcoming gentle conversation, and a passion that surely, in essence, has brought us so much joy.

In the past nine and a half months, we’ve only had giraffes come to call a few times around the edges of the property and in the driveway but never specified in the garden where all the others gather when they visit.

And for them, a casual visitor, with endless options of other gardens to visit in this wildlife paradise and wonderland, when they are here, we almost feel as if they belong with us.

The sound of the dry sekelbos branches cracking was earsplitting as she made her way through the dense bush.

Yes, we’ve given them names they only hold while in our garden. Yes, we talked to them in sweet voices with intense eye contact hoping for that moment when they understand our love and desire to bring them a modicum of joy, comfort, and nourishment.

As she approached, we stayed still and quiet.  Giraffes don’t interact with humans. They don’t eat pellets or any other food sources offered by humans.

In many ways, it’s all a mystery. Do they have the mental prowess and ability to connect with us on an emotional level? Or, as some say, they come for the food and, in today’s example, a cooling drink as a respite from the hot and dry weather.

I couldn’t help but zoom in to capture her pretty face.

We choose to believe beyond the obvious. Wildebeest Willie surely likes the pellets, despises the apples, carrots, and pears but brings with him an ability to look deep into my eyes when I speak to him, often not even bothering to eat the pellets until our “conversation” has ended.  

She was obviously on a mission for a drink.

This is the case with many others. I could go on and on about other examples such as this, but I’ve already mentioned them over and over again, ad nauseam. Forgive me for my redundancy. It’s entirely irresistible.

You can describe these “feelings” to those who aren’t here in this paradise-like environment, and they roll their eyes after one of our enthusiastic 60-second recitations about the magic of it all.  We know we need to shut up.  

She was obviously on a mission for a drink.

But the compelling desire to share a description of this place with others who don’t have a clue about it is literally compelling. It’s almost as if we can’t wait to get before an audience of one, 10, or 20 to tell this story, and yet, their interest wafts away in the blink of an eye, albeit a bored and disinterested eye.

It was a long way down to our cement pond.  Good thing, Tom had filled it to the brim earlier in the morning.

We noticed this phenomenon on cruise ships. When seated at a dinner table for 10 or 12 in the main dining room, most often amid total strangers, we experience a tremendous amount of curiosity about our peculiar lifestyle. They want to know the how, the why, the what, and the when of our ongoing homeless life of travel.

Invariably, we can’t resist mentioning Africa, where fewer travelers have been. They’re often astounded by our love of the continent while their own fears and apprehension consume their thoughts.  

She garnered the strength and agility to bend for a drink.

As soon as we mention Marloth Park, their eyes glaze over, and we realize it’s time to change the subject and let someone else share their travel adventure. We acquiesce, and the conversation continues down another path.

We’ve come to realize that only a certain fraction of the population is fascinated with wildlife. Last night, at Jabula at a table of eight with Kathy, Don, Rita and Gerhard, Janet and Steve, and us, we all shared this same passion. It was foolhardy to attempt to steer the conversation in other directions.

We were in awe of her musculature to maintain such a pose, if only for a short time.

Subsequently, our hearts and minds embrace each of their outstanding stories of sightings, albeit eliciting a bit of envy between one another’s sightings, often unlike any of our own.

Last night at dinner, the mention of our little story of the giraffe drinking from the cement pond raised a few eyebrows. It prompted several heartfelt wide grins, leaving us knowing that only these types of special wildlife-adoring people fully understand the depth and meaning of such experiences.

After drinking, she turned around and headed back into the dense sekelbos (sickle bush in English) to return to the parklands and her partner awaiting her at a short distance, as shown in this photo.

For those of you, our readers who have faithfully and diligently followed along on this long path of endless stories about Marloth Park and Kruger National Park for these many months, we commend you. A new direction is yet to come in a mere less than three months. We appreciate you, and we promise you…

Thank you for hanging in there with us while we’ve indulged ourselves in this lifelong passion.  The future holds a plethora of new adventures yet to come.

Be well. Be happy. Live your dream.

Photo from one year ago today, November 25, 2017:
Massive homes on the channel from Fort Lauderdale on our way out to sea for the Panama Canal and South America for the 30-night cruise. For more details, please click here.