As we enter a post lockdown era. It is important for us as human beings to remember the other things such as wildlife have too entered into a new era. Animals of the Greater Kruger National Park for the first time in many years have lived in a world with very little human activity.
Game viewing and ethics after lockdown.
By Craig Reid
As we enter a post lockdown era. It is important for us as human beings to remember the other things such as wildlife have too entered into a new era. Animals of the Greater Kruger National Park for the first time in many years have lived in a world with very little human activity. With lodge establishments and safari companies having closed their doors for just under four months now, animals have adapted to a world without copious amounts of human activity. However, it will not be that way for long. So what is it we all need to know? And how can we prevent animals becoming fearful of our presence in future game viewing encounters?
Sensitivity is going to be paramount whilst game viewing in the future. Guides will need to be more vigilant of animal behaviour going forward, especially in an area like the Greater Kruger National Park. In most private game reserves, vehicles have not been off road to view an animal for the duration of the South African lockdown. So giving the animal that much more space will be ideal for a successful game viewing experience. Start at a far enough distance that the animal feels comfortable with and work your way closer over time.
Habituation will be necessary with many animals, most importantly the more elusive species such as leopard. These naturally elusive felines will have taken advantage of the unused roads and even the confident individuals may be sceptical of an approaching vehicle. Patience will be the key factor with these cats, the more time and space you give them, the more they will begin to see that the vehicle is not a threat and that trust will once again be rebuilt.
With the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve having received more rain than usual in this past summer, there is an abundance of vegetation still to be eaten in the area. And this should keep many browsers and grazers happy and less stressed through out the duration of the winter season. Ultimately, this means these animals may be less disturbed by more human presence, due to the fact that they are fat and happy J
Here at The Last Word Kitara, the guides and trackers strive to be as ethical and sensitive as we possibly can be. Creating a sustainable ecosystem where wildlife and people can co-exist peacefully is our top priority. Join us as we attempt to make our reserve more habitable for both of us.
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