So today our morning chores should have been ‘Blackthorn Warriors’ this involves chopping down the blackthorn bushes that are encroaching on the land, apparently the way these bushes are spreading is a sure sign of global warming. I have to say, although their thorns are brutal, they are actually quite attractive trees, especially when adorned with delicate birds nests. Once the bushes have been cut down, they can be used to build up barriers around live stock, piled high enough & deep enough a carnivore is not going to get through the barrier.
We however didn’t do this chore as Marlice is on a mission to get the scrap yard cleared as she has a project she needs it for, each day the other volunteers on their ‘Day with Marlice’ chores had been working on the yard & this was a last shove to get it done. We were ‘just’ shoveling piles of bush, grass & rubble into wheelbarrows & down to the truck, I say ‘just’ because of course in that heat it just isn’t that easy. The highlight was when we saw a silvery little snake go into a pile of rocks, the snake was about the width of my chubby fingers, then we saw a mouse dart into the same pile of rocks & knew this wasn’t going to end well, a couple of minutes past & we got on with our task, until out of the corner of my eye I saw a silvery flash, the snake ‘leapt’ out of the rocks & wrapped itself around the mouse who was about the width of two chubby fingers, we couldn’t help but watch the snake devour his diner & then sliver off with a BIG bulge in his tummy !!
It was time for lunch & a quick shower.
Afternoon chores was a Cheetah Walk ~ I know ~ sucks doesn’t it !!
The walk was overseen by Moses, I would imagine considerably younger than Abraham & not quite as dedicated, he has an amazing smile & is funny, but a bit addicted to you tube lol. As Moses was hitching the transporter to the truck, he managed to take a chunk out of his hand, fortunately I had my first aid kit, sanitized him, but couldn’t get a plaster, despite trying two different sizes to stay stuck to his very smooth skin, so he just had to man up lol
One of the cheetah’s going on the walk is considerably larger than the rest, I got a lovely picture of him sat on the tail gate, he a stunning big boy.
Today was a bit cooler so the cheetah were a bit more interested & there was actually game on the plain. There was a group of zebra & gemsbock which the boys decided to stalk, when the game realised what was happening they took off in two perfect groups of their own species, where they had been all jumbled together, which I found quite fascinating, as the chase was getting underway however, a warthog decided to trot across the path of the cheetah & they chased him instead, he made a dart for his underground den in the undergrowth before the boys could catch him, they sat outside the entrance for a while, we couldn’t see, but assume that the warthog must have kept coming upto the entrance, because every now & then the boys would jump like startled domestic cats, but after a while they gave up the watch, wandered a little further & then it was time to go home for chicken dinner.
It’s such an amazing privilege to do this chore, many of the volunteers though feel that the baboon walks are better because it’s more interactive, with the cheetah, there is no physical interaction & you are asked not to take selfies with them, the farms mantra is that ‘it is not in our DNA to touch wild animals’ which is true & these cheetah are only in captivity because there is no other choice, they have come in because something has gone wrong in their lives & whilst they may make a good recovery & even learn to hunt, cheetah, unlike other wildlife imprint on humans within about three months, if they were released, they would just approach any humans they see & most likely get shot. The farm doesn’t want pictures all over social media giving the impression you come to N/a’an ku se to cuddle cheetahs ~ Marlice’s ultimate ambition is to rehabilitate & release all the animals that come to them, as much as she loves everyone of the animals, she see’s keeping them as imprisoning them, she wants them to be free, sadly this isn’t always possible, especially with the cheetah & baboons, so her philosophy is to use them as ambassadors of their species, hence why she allows them to be filmed, she wants to show that we can live alongside these animals & works with farmers to teach this ~ to show that they are beautiful & that they have the same right to live their lives as humans do ~ something some humans easily overlook!!