hwange

Tennessee Tragedy

The painted wolf seen being killed by a crocodile in the BBC “Dynasties” film was called Tennessee. She was a two-year-old daughter of Blacktip’s. This incident upset me greatly and still does. This is what I wrote in my diary afterwards and reproduced in my book “Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life”, which I wrote with Peter Blinston. I don’t want to show the graphic pictures in the book, because it is still too upsetting to see and far more disturbing than my baboon shots. Instead, this describes my gut feelings at the time for a wolf cut short in her prime and my pictures show her in happier moments of her life.

HWANGE: Up Close and Personal

Hwange is renowned for its elephants and rightly so, not only for their sheer numbers but also for their personalities. Yes you heard me right, for their PERSONALITIES. Wild as they may be, they are friendly and amazing creatures, with an intellect second to none. Elephants possess an unbelievable source of intelligence with incredible memories, passed on from female to female, ensuring the knowledge is never lost, something we humans have a hard time doing. So high is their intelligence that the elephant is one of six animal species said to have the ability to recognize their reflections in a mirror. They are capable of empathy as well, known to take care of their sick, chewing food for them and helping to take care of the other herd members.

CECIL AND THE HWANGE LION KINGS

In May 2008 researchers sighted two five year old male lions at Mangisihole Pan, and so named them the “Mangisihole Boys”.

Towards the end of the year they had moved from the eastern part of the park where they were first sighted and were now associated with the Ngweshla pride, led by a male named Ugly (I am curious as to the reason for his name). A ratio of 2 to 1 ensured the Mangisihole Boys won the fight easily. As part of their victory dance they did what all male lions do – they killed the cubs of the former leader and then went on to mate with the females to start their own bloodline. The larger male was darted and collared and given a name. A name we have all come to know: Cecil.