Yes, we know. Nature is nature, and sometimes it’s harsh and unrelenting. This morning was that case when Tom saw an animal lying on the ground with dust flying. At first, he thought it was an animal giving itself a dust bath, which we see, now and then. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a baby bushbuck flailing in the dirt trying to get up, and we immediately thought of mom Tulip and her young girl, Lilac. We were heartsick.
Immediately, we called Louise, and she called Ranger Jaco. Within 10 minutes, Jaco was here assessing the situation. Twenty minutes later, Ranger Mark (also the owner of Daisy’s Den, a feed and farm store here in Marloth Park) approached her gingerly and picked her up to take her to Doc Piet.
When getting close and picking her up, Mark said she was no more than two weeks old. It wasn’t Lilac, who was a few months old. We were relieved but still sad over the injury this precious being had experienced. We’ll never know what happened and can only hope after being treated by Dr. Piet; she can be rehabilitated at Deidre’s Wild and Free Rehabilitation Centre.
When she’s treated and healed, she’ll be returned to the bush in our garden, where her mother will continue to look for her. During this event, two adult female bushbucks watched over her, including her mother and Tulip, whose baby Lilac only jumped the fence a few minutes ago to see us. She is still peacefully there, munching on pellets with male bushbuck Spikey.
The injured baby’s mom stayed close by, occasionally touching her to see if she could get up. She could not. Tom expected one of her front legs might be broken. I gave Jaco my card and asked him to let us know what happened with the precious little being. He remembered us from past visits to our holiday homes when similar situations had occurred before our eyes.
The number of animals that approached the baby while we waited was frightening during this period. A band of mongoose whom we’d fed paloney minutes before this transpired was hoping she’d die so they could eat the meat. Even Lollie, whom we also had to chase away, seemed annoyed by the baby’s presence in what she considers “her territory.”
Tom stood to watch over the baby shooing off the other animals that seemed hell-bent on approaching her. Were they curious, or were they looking to attack her? It was hard to tell, but we were certain warthogs or mongooses would attack her. That’s their nature. They can’t help themselves. It’s nature.
It was such a relief when Mark walked off with the precious baby leaving us hoping she’d be able to survive her injuries.
Soon, Rita will be coming to pick me up. We are heading to Stoep Cafe in Komatipoort for some much-desired “girl talk,” which we both have missed for the past five months since they’ve been gone. After breakfast, Rita will drop me off at the pharmacy, after which I’ll walk to Spar Market and do the grocery shopping. I’ll call Tom about 30 minutes before I’m done so he can come and pick me up with the groceries. This way, Rita won’t have to wait for me while I shop.
So that’s it for today, folks. We’ll keep you updated on what we find out about the baby bushbuck and be back with more tomorrow.
Photo from one year ago today, August 4, 2021: