The reserve I work at has decided to bring in more “plains game” since our numbers of these animals are currently below carrying capacity for the habitats they live in. This means, basically, that the vegetation on the reserve (grass, shrubs, trees, etc) can accommodate the dietary needs of a certain number of animals in order to promote a healthy ecosystem for both plants and animals, and we do not have enough animals (herbivores) in the balance. This is partially due to our high number of predators that are eating the prey animals faster than they can reproduce. “Plains game” consist of animals such as impala, kudu (types of antelope), zebra, and wildebeest.
This week has seen the delivery of a bunch of different animals that have been transported from a neighboring reserve and off-loaded onto our reserve. On Monday, W & I took part in the off-loading. W had to climb on top of the truck and look inside at each of the compartments to count the numbers of animals and shout down to me to mark off if they were male, female, or juveniles. I was able to snap some pictures and videos (thank you iPhone for always being with me and having an awesome camera). Monday saw the release of wildebeest and impala. After counting had been done, they release them one compartment at a time, and it’s such a cool sight to see them all jump out of the truck and bound away into the bush.
Here’s a short video of one of the impala off-loads.