Who’s in the garden this morning?
- 20 warthogs – inc. Tiny, Lonely Girl, Fred, and Ethel, Peter, Paul and Mary, 2 sets Mom and Babies and others
- 7 bushbucks – inc. Chewy, Thick Neck/Bad Leg, Spikey, and others
- 12 kudus – inc. Bossy, Big Daddy, Notches, Little Daddy, Mom and Baby, and others
- 21 helmeted guinea-fowl
- One wildebeest – inc. Broken Horn
- 1 female duiker
- 12 mongoose
- 2 Frank and The Misses
When I entered the house to refresh my glass of ice tea, I nearly fell over laughing. Frank was wandering about the kitchen, perhaps looking for bits of food on the floor. Fearful of scaring him off, I quickly grabbed the camera to take the two photos included here today. Please excuse the blur in the photos caused by my laughter and inability to hold the camera still.
After taking the photos I wandered into the kitchen to find him quite “at home” to see me there. I didn’t have to do a thing. Also, he had no issue or confusion in finding his way out the door. After a few minutes, he wandered toward the veranda door and “saw himself out.”
Every day, it’s something new that piques our interest, leaving us in awe of nature and the world around us. Whether it is a laugh-worthy experience or a tender or disappointing moment, we can’t help but notice little details. These “little things” make our time in Marloth Park and elsewhere in our world travels that make life so fascinating.
While seated at the table on the veranda, Little appeared as he often does, multiple times each day. But, this morning was slightly different. His right eye was oozing blood, not from the eyeball but the corner of his eye. We wondered what had happened to him, concerned for his well-being.
Could he have been in a fight with another animal? Could he have incurred the injury while walking through the spiked branches of trees and brush in the bush as he continues on his daily tour of the park? We’ll never know. The injury doesn’t look life-threatening. Warthogs are sturdy animals, and most likely, in time, they will heal on their own.
With so many warthogs in Marloth Park, few with injuries are attended to by the rangers and local vets who oversee the well-being of the animals. The attitude is to “let nature take its course.” When an animal is caught in a snare or suffering significantly, the vet may work with the rangers to treat the animal properly.
But if it’s a warthog, which many consider annoying and less “important,” they may be “put down” if they suffer from a disabling or life-threatening condition. This is a reality in the bush that all of us animal lovers must face. One day, a favorite “visitor” may not appear in the garden, leaving residents wondering what happened to that animal when in fact, they may have been killed on the road, died in a fight, or died from natural causes.
Some of these animals are old. Tiny is one of them. Warthogs can live 15 to 18 years, although the average lifespan in the wild is 7 to 11 years due to stats when they are killed by apex predators. But, here in Marloth Park, where they rarely face a lion, cheetah, leopard, or other apex predators, they can live many more years.
We consider the reality that when we return from the US at the end of July, having been gone for 28 days, some of our favorite animals, including Tiny, Little, Frank, and others, may never be seen by us again. They could easily be killed or lose interest in returning here when we’ve been gone so long.
The only encouragement I have is the fact that almost two years after we left Marloth Park in 2019, Little found us once again and visits every single day. We’ll hang onto the hope that we’ll see them all again, maybe not immediately upon our return, but in the days and weeks to come.
May your day bring you joy in the little things…
Photo from one year ago today, June 16, 2020:
|We highlighted Venice, Italy, one year ago. Check out the crowds! For more photos, please click here.|