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Third bridge camp wild dog lost his pack and reunites after two days. Moremi NP, Botswana


JPS
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Alex The Lion
34 minutes ago, ice said:

 

I am sorry but is that what you call research???? Who researched where, what and how long? And most importantly, how did the "researchers" "measure" (what a joke!)? Did they put electrical sensors behind the cat's eyes????? If not, it's just utter speculation.

 

Seems to me like you have never been in a National Park run by the South African government. The sunset and night drives there are conducted by guides employed by SanParks. They are by no means depending on tips, in most cases they don't even get any. Now if SANParks was aware of your super significant research results it would be the easiest thing for them to just (literally) pull the plugs on the spotlights in their vehicles. As it stands, though they conduct roughly 15.000 sunset and night drives per year in Kruger Park alone - and guess what, the cats are still there and striving.

 

Just look at the videos I posted: none of the cats "freezes" when a spotlight hits them, none run away...hell, they don't even close their eyes. I guess your researchers should tell them about their "results", maybe they would then act accordingly. 

 

By the way, if you comment to (my) contributions, you should read more carefully: I told you that in my 20+ years of travelling to Africa I have not once come across a guide who had a red filter for his spotlight, not once. So in the end I assume you stay sat in your ivory tower while JPS and I enjoy your game drives with spotlights and flashes. 

 

You appear to make a number of assumptions as per normal.

 

I have been all of the major South African National parks, as I lived there back in 2003 and I have also experienced the type of trip you have mentioned, even held the spotlight myself.

 

I appreciate that English is not your first language, so you you may have misunderstood the point. I know they are not using red filters on these trips. My point is that if they did, I would imagine the uptake of such activities would be reduced and may not be viable. So, why would they change a setup that is financially supports employment. This is the trade off.

 

I think you also misunderstand the impact of the light. You seem to focus on cats running away or freezing or blinking etc. The issue is around how it affects their night eyes. For example, it take a human up to 7 hours before it is optimised to the dark.

 

Like I said, these changes are being implemented more at high end camps/concessions, where I appreciate you don't visit.

Edited by Alex The Lion
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18 minutes ago, Alex The Lion said:

Like I said, these changes are being implemented more at high end camps/concessions, where I appreciate you don't visit.

 

And you don't make any assumptions? 

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19 minutes ago, Alex The Lion said:

My point is that if they did, I would imagine the uptake of such activities would be reduced and may not be viable

 

Assumption number 2

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Like I said, stay sat in your ivory tower and let others enjoy their safaris - I remember a similar sighting like JPS had, also in Moremi, back in 2014. We were late getting back to camp when all of a sudden a pack of wild dogs chasing an impala crossed our path. Naturally we followed, full speed, and other guides did, too. In the end the impala fled into a small river where it was killed by a crocodile, with the dogs watching nearby. Quite a commotion, with half a dozen vehicles and again, those who had any used their spotlights, others their vehicle front lights. Half an hour later (well past sunset) a park ranger showed up. 

 

Now I guess that park rule bla bla bla you quoted was in effect in 2014, too. Nevertheless, the ranger was merely pointing out that we had overstayed our time outside the camp. He was certainly not bothered by the use of lights. For us, it was a great sighting, like I assume (yes!) JPS had a lot of joy with his. 

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1 hour ago, ice said:

 

I am sorry but is that what you call research???? Who researched where, what and how long? And most importantly, how did the "researchers" "measure" (what a joke!)? Did they put electrical sensors behind the cat's eyes????? If not, it's just utter speculation.

 

Seems to me like you have never been in a National Park run by the South African government. The sunset and night drives there are conducted by guides employed by SanParks. They are by no means depending on tips, in most cases they don't even get any. Now if SANParks was aware of your super significant research results it would be the easiest thing for them to just (literally) pull the plugs on the spotlights in their vehicles. As it stands, though they conduct roughly 15.000 sunset and night drives per year in Kruger Park alone - and guess what, the cats are still there and striving.

 

Just look at the videos I posted: none of the cats "freezes" when a spotlight hits them, none run away...hell, they don't even close their eyes. I guess your researchers should tell them about their "results", maybe they would then act accordingly. 

 

By the way, if you comment to (my) contributions, you should read more carefully: I told you that in my 20+ years of travelling to Africa I have not once come across a guide who had a red filter for his spotlight, not once. So in the end I assume you stay sat in your ivory tower while JPS and I enjoy your game drives with spotlights and flashes. 

You are absolutely right Ice and Alex is a person who is stuck in an investigation and sticks to it, he has a lot of trouble putting things into perspective.

Fact is that things are different in the real life and we have seen that predators do not bother at all...As you said I have never ever seen a red light except in Namibie with night drives. So I am not using my energy anymore trying to convince Alex, who is locked in his box.

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madaboutcheetah

@Alex The Lion-  I don't know about you ........ But, I HATE night drives with a passion.  Yawn ........  In private concessions where these night drives are offered with spotlight i usually pack up the minute the light goes down (or after a sundowner stop if the viewing is slow for the afternoon) and i get the tracker to jump into the car and just relax for the drive back to camp and stay energised for the next day ahead!!  Hey, that's just me!! ;)  Hmmm maybe that's why i've never seen an Aardvark yet?? :) ........  I've had all daytime sightings of Pangolin, Caracal, Aardwolf, Brown Hyena.  I'm banking on my chances for a daytime Aardvark one day! 

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Kitsafari

Hi guys, Thanks for giving your points of view but it seems that the argument is going around in circles and I believe everyone has made his point and the arguments have made their course. Now it'll be up to the other readers to make up their minds. 

 

So, let's get back to the reason for this post, that is, the reunion of the lost dogs.

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Alex The Lion

@KitsafariThanks for your input, though I actually find your response quite disappointing. This forum has been heavily based around conservation practice and best practice over the years. This seems like a shift away from that principle in asking us to move on and let the readers decide.

 

Aside from the ethics of spot light use, two rules have been clearly been broken here;

 

1. Conducting a night drive in Moremi

2. Using spotlights to for filming purposes which is not permitted.

 

The fact you ask people to "move on" as that is not the topic of the thread is condoning that behaviour.

 

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Alex The Lion

@jps and @ice

 

This is science behind the use of spotlights and lights at night. If you visit JSTOR and Research gate, there a plenty of papers in the last 4 years documenting the effects of lights on wildlife, as the Blue light in LEDs has become a significant concern.

 

Apologies for the cut and paste, though I don't really have the time to type everything out.

 

"The eyes of most nocturnal (and many diurnal) animals begin to create a chemical called Rhodopsin in the “rod” cells in their eyes as darkness begins to fall. Rhodopsin, along with a structure called the tapetum helps the animal to see in the dark. Exposure to bright light causes the chemical to break down, thereby blinding the animal in the dark. Once the bright light is gone, it takes approximately 30 minutes for the animal’s eyes to completely readjust and to be able to see again by converting vitamin ‘A’ back to Rhodopsin. In that time the animal may be extraordinarily susceptible to predation or unable to find food or hunt.

 

Red filters MUST be used on spotlights, in areas where night-drives are permitted, to avoid blinding the wildlife. A red-filtered spotlight does not cause the Rhodopsin in the animals’ eyes to break down, and therefore does not blind them. A leopard, spotted using an unfiltered spotlight, will most often stop in its tracks and turn away from the light, often disappearing quickly into the bush, or staring blankly into the darkness. The same leopard, spotted using a red-filtered spotlight, will be much less disturbed and will most often continue with its natural activity."

 

As dirunal animals, Wild dogs are at even greater risk, as they don't have great night vision to start with. We are all aware of the predation risks to puppies from Lions and Hyena.

 

If you respect the "Rules of Nature", I am not sure how you can read that, and have the slightest concern. Is the golden rule not to put the animal first when you have even the slightest concern?

 

@ice

 

The information that I have provided is based on the 2019 Moremi Film guidelines. These were updated following a suspension of all research/filming licences in 2017 after concerns about how filming/research was being conducted.

 

I appreciate you would both like to believe that I am in "ivory tower", though my viewpoint is quite widespread. Though I appreciate this may interfere with you making your videos.

 

It seems that because you have been at sightings with multiple spotlights makes it acceptable.

 

1. Grant Atkinson - Well known Botswana and Photography, look at his rules and ethics for safaris.

 

https://www.grantatkinson.com/blog/safari-code-of-ethics-and-conduct

 

2. Mkapa Photo Awards (Africa) - part of NaturesBest, one of the largest and renowned photographic competitions in the world. I had images shown in the Smithsonian as part of it. The rules mean that wildlife "flashed" with white light will not be considered for the competition.

 

https://naturesbestphotography.org/upload/contest_pdf/2022_MkapaAwards_Guidelines.pdf

 

Similar ethics concerns are also considered in the Wildlife photographer of the YEar competition.

 

3 Chiawa Safaris perspective on the situation

 

https://www.chiawa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ChiawaSafaris-RedLightFilters2020.pdf

 

4. Reference about Wilderness safaris

 

https://bonamy.co.uk/posts/red-light-filters-on-night-drives

 

5. https://www.yourafricansafari.com/articles/why-night-drives-should-be-chosen-carefully/

 

This references 

 

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wilddog

It is not the debate that is the concern  it is the way you are addressing each other, which is unacceptable.  It descended into rudeness/personal attacks very quickly.

 

Wilddog, 

Moderating team

 

 

 

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Alex The Lion
1 hour ago, wilddog said:

It is not the debate that is the concern  it is the way you are addressing each other, which is unacceptable.  It descended into rudeness/personal attacks very quickly.

 

Wilddog, 

Moderating team

 

 

 


Then address the two who make the personal comments, as they are mainly being directed at me.

 

Don’t let it stifle debate.

 

If people want to claim I’m in an ivory tower etc, it really doesn’t affect me, it simply detracts from their argument.

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wilddog

@Alex The Lionthe one you mention is one among several,  in the thread . 

The fact that I posted subsequent to your post is pure coincidence. I am away at the moment but logged in this morning to check progress as I could see, as @Kitsafaricould, the way the thread was going.

 

So ALL posters in this thread  please be mindful of my comments.

 

discuss if you wish but do not be rude to other members.

 

PS Thanks for link. I hope others will read the relevant research.

 

 

 

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Alex The Lion

@JPSI have a good suggestion. Why don’t we email the Head of Parks with a link to your video and ask her for an opinion?

 

As the person in charge for Moremi, she will be able to provide the guidance we need around the rules and whether they were followed. It could help you and other travellers from finding themselves in trouble during future trips.

 

Happy to help you facilitate this.

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Caracal
11 hours ago, madaboutcheetah said:

 I've had all daytime sightings of Pangolin, Caracal, Aardwolf, Brown Hyena.  I'm banking on my chances for a daytime Aardvark one day! 

 

Am a bit off topic here but @madaboutcheetah- how about starting a post featuring all those rare sightings of yours with dates and places?

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madaboutcheetah

@Caracal- I will do that …. Hopefully aardvark soon (crossing fingers and toes) - but, oh day time ONLY 

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7 hours ago, Caracal said:

 

Am a bit off topic here but @madaboutcheetah- how about starting a post featuring all those rare sightings of yours with dates and places?

 

Are they that rare? I've seen all of those during daytime hours, too. Add a striped hyena to the list.

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Caracal
4 hours ago, ice said:

 

Are they that rare? I've seen all of those during daytime hours, too. Add a striped hyena to the list.

 

 I think many Safaritalkers would agree with me that they are rare sightings.  I'm  now feeling a touch of envy!

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soleson

Interesting discussion.  I am a bit surprised that others have not seen the use of red filter spotlights.  I have had safari guides use them for night drives in South Luangwa, Greater Kruger area, Tanzania, and Moremi.  See below video I posted a few years ago with dogs in Moremi in 2018.  I am not sure what the right answer is, but the my experience over around 10 safaris is in more in line with what Alex describes in regards to use of red spotlights.  

 

I often wondered why the rules were so strict until last summer in Tarangire National Park.  Our guide refused to go even a small distance off-road to see a couple of cheetahs despite requests by my daughter.  As other vehicles arrived (even from the big name camps) they did not hesitate to drive closer off road.  In the end, the vehicles ended up chasing the two cheetah off their kill which was a shame.  Sometimes, we just have to accept we might not be as close or get the picture we really want...  

 

 

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