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A Pangolin in Africa


Pangolin

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pault

A fine time at Duba Plains - the hunt sequence really tells the story and the bloody cub is too sweet for words - well done Mrs Pangolin. Some great sightings on thsi trip, and despite all the other wonderful stuff, a male lion on the charge is probably the best of the lot for me.

 

I knew taking the old camera out of the game drive was going to end badly.

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Contrary to what I previously said, I'm going to skip ahead just this one time. I'm doing this because the few pictures needed to tell the story have been sorted already, unlike most of the others fr

~ @@Pangolin   SUPERB safari images !!!!!!!!!!!! Reading through this Botswana trip report was a thrilling experience! Great sightings captured in outstanding photographs. I'm so pleased

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot, Pangolin. Awesome reading this report from start to finish!!!

 

Great finish at Duba Plains to the safari.

 

 

Regards

Hari

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Pangolin

He is one good lookin' dude!

...the Skimmer male, who splits his time among the two prides...

Lucky boy, that Skimmer male...

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Pangolin

Thanks, all.

 

This was definitely one of my best safari's ever.

 

What's next for me regarding safari's? Good question, and I don't know the answer. I definitely want to go back to the CKGR, and I'm still missing brown hyena from my list......

 

I will say this - based on my enormous sample size of two green-season safaris, if I go back to Botswana, I can think of very few reasons to ever pay high-season rates again. I've become a green-season fan. As long as the camps/locations are selected with care, rainy season viewing can be awesome and at a much better price. Plus the birding is better. Although I'm usually not a list ticker, I recorded 211 bird species on this trip, and that was with minimal effort at identifying LBJs. An actual birding trip would have resulted in more species.

 

The two negatives that come to mind immediately are mosquitos and weather. But the weather caused only one game drive to be cancelled, and disrupted 3 or 4 others. I can live with that on a 14-day safari.

 

But who knows where and when next I will go? I don't yet.

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Game Warden

Cracking photos Pangolin, what a great trip! Seems like members are having real luck at the moment...

 

Great lion's eye perspective on that last photo.

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PeterGermany

Mr. and Mrs. Pangolin, awesome trip report and pictures!

 

Obviously Duba Plains is still delivering first class lion sightings. CKGR and Duba Plains will definitely be on my list for a future trip to Botswana.

 

Thank you very much.

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Pangolin

One caution about Duba. It "ain't what it used to be" when it comes to lions and buffalo. Kills occur at a much lower rate these days for a number of reasons, most of which are because of natural predator-prey cycles.

 

The buffalo herd is about 1/3 the size it was at its peak. The ones that are left are naturally those that tend to be a bit smarter about not becoming lion food. The number of lions has dropped, and the pride is splintered. Cub survival has been non-existant for a few years. All those females are fairly old, so even if most of the current cubs survive, there will likely be fewer lions around for a while. The lions don't seem capable of switching from buffalo to other safer and more numerous things (like lechwe), even though there are plenty of places to hide and ambush such faster creatures.

 

Instead of an every 2-3 day thing, I heard that witnessing a kill is more of an every 10 day or so thing these days. We got lucky.

 

However - Duba Plains is amazingly beautiful, and teeming with life of all kinds. I definitely recommend it, as long as all the above is kept in mind.

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Pangolin, thanks for the amazing photos! I'm especially interested in the lion cubs at Duba. Do you know if the cubs are associated with the Skimmer or the Tsaro pride? Also, do you happen to know if Silver Eye is still among the pride members or even alive? In May of 2009 she was an outcast and looked to be failing. I'm heading back to Duba in May and haven't been able to track down any solid updates on the activities of the 2 prides. Thanks in advance for any information you might have.

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Pangolin

Shana -

 

Welcome to Safaritalk.

 

Silver Eye is one of the three that killed the buffalo. She is the one with the throat in her grasp (although the female with cubs did most of the work). She is on shaky terms with the other two, because she has attacked cubs.

 

As far as I know, the cubs are all the Skimmer male's. There are two sets of cubs around right now, I believe. The one's I showed, and a younger set with the second pride.

 

With any luck, you'll see them all.

 

One word of caution - the flood was already starting to come in, in early March. May at Duba may be a bit of a challenge.

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What a great report, Pangolin. You had more success predatorwise than I did. Mrs.P.did you proud. Last

 

October I was at Duba Plains for four nights, but did not see a kill, only the result next morning. I did search for a

 

pangolin, but no luck!

 

 

Jan

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I have been saving the report to read when I had a bit of time. WOW, what a thrill.

I actually, honest to goodness, not just an expression, had goosebumps on my arms as I read about your special sighting, and when I came to the end of it, I shivered! Amazing, incredible, utterly magical. I am so delighted for you that you were able to experience such a special moment.

The whole report is wonderful and I have enjoyed Mrs Pangolin's photos immensely.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

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Pangolin
The whole report is wonderful and I have enjoyed Mrs Pangolin's photos immensely.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

Kavey-

 

Thank you so much for enjoying the report.

 

My pleasure.

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Pangolin
What a great report, Pangolin. You had more success predatorwise than I did. Mrs.P.did you proud. Last

October I was at Duba Plains for four nights, but did not see a kill, only the result next morning. I did search for a

pangolin, but no luck!

 

Jan

Jan-

 

and not a single African wild cat for me :mellow:

 

Thought you might have gotten lucky and seen a bit of the leopards at Duma Tau?

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Pangolin thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with the Duba pride updates. Much appreciated! The flood is looking like another whopper so I'm crossing my fingers! The rest of the trip is to LTC ( I consider myself blessed!) and Skeleton Coast so hopefully we won't risk being stranded there. Again, thanks for sharing your absolutely amazing photos.

 

Shana

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samburumags

What a great report and a wonderful sighting, Mrs P is obviously a gardener as well as a wild life enghusiast, superb photos. Looking forward to the rest.

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Jan-

 

and not a single African wild cat for me

 

Thought you might have gotten lucky and seen a bit of the leopards at Duma Tau?

 

Pangolin, leopards eluded me this time, and not for the want of trying on my part. Even with Spencer at Little

 

Kwara I missed out. I did see African wildcats twice, but from wrong side of the vehicle and in the dark. I,m

 

working on a short trip report, but have been busy since my return, so please be patient! I'm beginning to

 

wonder if there will be any of us left. I like to tease other members, but not be rude. I'm sad that some of my

 

favourites have gone.

 

 

Jan

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Pangolin
What a great report and a wonderful sighting, Mrs P is obviously a gardener as well as a wild life enghusiast, superb photos. Looking forward to the rest.

Thanks Samburumags.

 

Unfortunately, there is no more to report. The safari ended at Duba Plains.

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madaboutcheetah
Jan-

 

and not a single African wild cat for me

 

Thought you might have gotten lucky and seen a bit of the leopards at Duma Tau?

 

Pangolin, leopards eluded me this time, and not for the want of trying on my part. Even with Spencer at Little

 

Kwara I missed out. I did see African wildcats twice, but from wrong side of the vehicle and in the dark. I,m

 

working on a short trip report, but have been busy since my return, so please be patient! I'm beginning to

 

wonder if there will be any of us left. I like to tease other members, but not be rude. I'm sad that some of my

 

favourites have gone.

 

 

Jan

 

 

Jan,

 

Look forward to the report. No rush (read no pressure) :mellow: I'm guessing your cheetah count at Lk was between 3 and 12? Hopefully the higher number. As I remember it, you are going to Lebala later in the year - you'll get your Leopard fix there for sure!

 

Hari

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Atravelynn

Your safari got away from me. The perch is definitely a unique shot. More leopard activity! You really outdid yourself with those carmine bee eaters. Nice honey badger, which is not an easy animal to photograph. Several canines and Duba will be up next.

 

I bet even your guide was very excited with the cat cat cat leopard & cub.

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Pangolin
I bet even your guide was very excited with the cat cat cat leopard & cub.

 

Yes he was. It is a featured subject in his blog.

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Atravelynn

Good thing those Duba lions are used to swimming and wading. Very, wet. You were fortunate to be able to get to where all the action was. So the Skimmer male splits his time.

 

My next questions indicate that I have not been keeping up with the Duba dynamics and family dramas. Are both of the Tsaro males out of the picture now and that's what allows the Skimmer male to infiltrate? Actually I think some new genes are a good idea.

 

How about Junior, do we know what is going on with him? I got somewhat attached to that only child of a cub during my visit. Nice to see some more cubs in your photos.

 

Shana (WELCOME TO SAFARITALK! And what a fascinating report to jump in on for your first post) asked about Silver Eye. I did not see a response, sorry if I missed it. What's up with her? And with her deadly antics?

 

Glad to see Duba is still so special.

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Pangolin
My next questions indicate that I have not been keeping up with the Duba dynamics and family dramas. Are both of the Tsaro males out of the picture now and that's what allows the Skimmer male to infiltrate? Actually I think some new genes are a good idea.

 

How about Junior, do we know what is going on with him? I got somewhat attached to that only child of a cub during my visit. Nice to see some more cubs in your photos.

 

Shana (WELCOME TO SAFARITALK! And what a fascinating report to jump in on for your first post) asked about Silver Eye. I did not see a response, sorry if I missed it. What's up with her? And with her deadly antics?

 

Glad to see Duba is still so special.

Lynn-

 

Tsaro males seem to be out of the picture. I don't know anything about them, and Grant did not mention them (I think). The Skimmer Male gets all the action for now.

 

Nothing about junior either. There are no males other than the big boy and some very young cubs. There are no young adults at all.

 

I did respond to Shana. Silver eye is one of the three that killed the buffalo. Her relationship is a bit shaky because of her cub-attacking behavior.

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Thanks for the welcome Atravelynn! The last of the Duba Boys died in late 2008. Junior was still around back then but as of 2009 he seemed to have left the area. When I saw him in 2008 his mane was just filling in. The Skimmer male was already taking over the pride when the last Duba Boy died. It does seem that the pride that the Duba Boys once led has been dysfunctional on the reproduction front since they died. Very few cubs have survived because they are killed by pride lionesses. It does make one wonder if there is some genetic issue that's resolving itself in this unpleasant way. Silver Eye may be responsible for some or many of the cub killings. As of last May, she was an outcast from the pride and it looked like she might not survive the many confrontations from other pride members. We witnessed such an encounter and it was very disturbing - the Skimmer male participated in the attack on Silver Eye. Males are usually very protective of the females. Pangolin pointed out that Silver Eye was the lead in the buffalo kill that he witnessed, delivering the lethal throat bite. In spite of everything, it sounds like she's still an amazingly skilled hunter.

 

I was and am thrilled with Pangolin's report on the pride (not to mention the rest of his fantastic trip report!) It also feels like a bit of serendipity that I saw a pangolin at Duba.

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Pangolin
Pangolin pointed out that Silver Eye was the lead in the buffalo kill that he witnessed, delivering the lethal throat bite. In spite of everything, it sounds like she's still an amazingly skilled hunter.

 

I was and am thrilled with Pangolin's report on the pride (not to mention the rest of his fantastic trip report!) It also feels like a bit of serendipity that I saw a pangolin at Duba.

Shana-

 

Just to clarify, it was actually the lioness with cubs that took the lead and did most of the work. Silver Eye indeed grasped the throat, but the other lioness was the major factor in the hunt and take-down.

 

Congrats on the pangolin at Duba. I only see them in the mirror.

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Atravelynn

Then this is a bit of a reunion report, then! Thanks for the responses Pangolin.

 

"It does make one wonder if there is some genetic issue that's resolving itself in this unpleasant way." That has been my thought.

 

So a new chapter for Duba. Let's hope the prides can re-establish themselves. That's likely not the perspective of the buffalo, though.

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