Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Last of 2013's adventures

So Monday in short... Woke up, went to the main camp to sort out the account and then we aimed at going for a quick drive but we didn't get far due to rain. The rest of the day was spent packing up the house and I got a small gift for my pup - give you a hint: his favorite toy is his elephant and this gift is actually compost for my succulent garden... We went for a drizzly evening drive and were spoilt to seeing elephant and lion as a parting gift from the bush. Sadly the wild dogs and hyaena eluded is.

Now to climb onto my high horse and get grumpy about something... In my last post I mentioned about the poachers... So we got an update on what happened and it turns out that it was 2 poachers but due to the rain the trackers and dog couldn't follow the trail. Our team worked until late trying to find these thugs and were up and back at it early. Fortunately it looks like no rhino were taken out this time and from all accounts, it appears that they left the reserve - boot prints were spotted Monday morning by one of the owners on one of our boundary roads. This time we were fortunate in that these thugs were scared off so quickly. These morons clearly didn't think about their timing and were on the reserve when there was an increase of activity so their chances of being spotted was significantly greater as people went in search of the big 5 and other game.

Sadly the fight against these thugs is really difficult because of their cunning and the limited resources available to fight against them. Just think of it this way: the most effective method in fighting this onslaught is obviously by putting helicopters in the air but to run a chopper it costs around R6000 per hour. That means if you wanted to run a chopper for 8hrs a day all year you would need R17.52million per year!!! And that excludes all your staffing costs and if you were to buy your own chopper, that figure could easily be doubled for the first year. Now lets be more realistic and put our chopper up for 1 hour per day and we still have 2.2million as a minimum.

My one goal for 2014 is to help do something about this plague and if possible put a chopper in the air for at least 2hours. Small goal I know but if I can do that, that is 2 hours of no poachers. If I can do more, that's a bonus. If you would like to assist in this project, keep an eye on this blog because I will be posting more details about this personal project in the next week or so.

If by some off chance you are a poacher and are reading this: do not be fooled: the war against your terror will end for one simple reason: there are insanely passionate people out there who will stop you.

Got back home yesterday and am planning some local, bush and of course the next big adventure. 2014 is going to be a good year.

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