“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|One of the older foals needed a rest.|
A few hours ago, we returned from our five-hour outing to Kruger National Park. I’m rushing a bit to get today’s post uploaded since the evening adventures begin soon. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with some stunning photos, which we’re excited to share with all new sightings. Please stop by to see!
|It started with just a few, but they kept coming to join in on the action in the garden.|
Yesterday, we had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day. We were gone for a few hours to shop in Komatipoort, but we were anxious to get back and see what surprises were in store for us.
|This foal was so young, it seemed a little dazed and confused, never once paying any attention to the pellets and vegetable.|
We weren’t disappointed. No more than two minutes after we parked the little car in the driveway, they started coming. Ms. Bushbuck and baby and friend were the first to arrive, followed by a “sounder” of warthogs, many we know, some we did not.
|The dazzle consisted mainly of females along with the three youngsters.|
While Tom tossed the pellets, I cut up vegetables. It was only 1600 hrs. (4:00 pm) and we had an inkling it would be a hectic evening in the bush. How right we were!
|The baby’s hair was a little curly and fluffy. Her face was dirty from the dust kicked up during the visit.|
Still reeling from the 17 kudus that stopped by for an hour on Monday morning after the tourist traffic in the park had considerably thinned out, our expectations weren’t high.
|She tried to suckle a few times, but mom was more interested in pellets at the moment than in feeding her young.|
We had several excellent sightings on the Crocodile River with more wildlife than we could have imagined, indeed “safari luck,” when the presence of tourists has no bearing on how many animals stop to drink and eat on and near the Crocodile River.
|The gestation period for African zebras is typically 13 months.|
After staying busy with the visitors on hand, we heard the thunderous sounds of hooves of zebras as they barreled their way through the dense bush to get to the ample open space in our garden, where they all congregate when they stop by.
|Please leave it to Little Wart Face to get in on the action. He always seems to be hovering nearby, watching and waiting.|
The next-door neighbors who periodically stay in their bush home purchased a large bale of hay before leaving for their other home somewhere, going it in their driveway for the animals to eat.
|Success, a moment of nursing!|
(We don’t know these neighbors since they only stay for a few days and then depart. We’ve never made an effort to introduce ourselves, nor have they). We were sad to see the bale of hay, a breeding ground for bacteria, with the animals passing diseases between themselves, especially bovine tuberculosis.
|Zebras tend to stay physically close to one another, although they can be feisty when food is offered.|
For this reason, we’ve never considered having one of those at our holiday home, although there was one here, half gone, when we arrived in February. Before we knew about bovine TB and other diseases that wildlife can pass amongst themselves when eating the hay bales or from a trough.
|This female stood with her nose touching the glass on the little car for at least 10 minutes. We wondered what that was all about. She could have been staring at her reflection.|
But, how do you approach a neighbor, especially when we don’t know them, and we’re “only renters,” to tell them not to use a trough, a bale of hay, or a mineral block which the wildlife so freely love and share?
|This smallest of the foals stayed as close to mom as possible.|
First, we noticed the zebras at the neighbor’s home engrossed in the hay. From time to time, they’d look our way. We are waiting patiently. We knew they’d come. And, they did indeed.
|A playful pair.|
The most exciting part of their visit saw the tiniest zebra we’d seen during this stay in Marloth Park or four and a half years ago when we were here. Not only was there the smallest foal, as shown in the above video and photos, but there were two other foals in the “dazzle” of 11 zebras.
|After the play, they cuddled and sniffed one another.|
Funny thing, as I write this now, a day later, there are three zebras in the garden, all males. They’re now heading over the hay bale along with a half dozen helmeted guinea fowls who followed them.
|This female was scratching her nose on the end of the fence. Zebras often scratch themselves of any available protrusion.|
Little Wart Face is the only pig here now, and he enjoys any pellets of vegetables the zebras may have missed. Even the guinea fowl, who find the pellets too large to swallow, peck at them to break them up into smaller pieces. The competition for pellets is astounding, often resulting in head-butting and kicking.
|The foal seemed lost and confused.|
As an aside, while we stood on the edge of the veranda, one of the zebras bit my shoe when I didn’t tender the pellets quickly enough for her liking. We laughed out loud. I was glad I was wearing my runners since that bite could have been painful!
|The mom and baby were the last to leave when the others had wandered next door to the bale of hay.|
Now that we’re back from Kruger, we’ll prepare dinner and soon set up the veranda for the evening’s entertainment. Who will it be tonight? We shall find out soon enough!
Oops! Wildebeest Willie just showed up! Have to go…
Have a pleasant day and evening!
Photo from one year ago today, July 19, 2017:
|The yellow Costco bag was filled with the remainder of the packages we handled yesterday, including the new portable scanner we ordered when our old unit broke in Minneapolis. For more photos, please click here.|