June/July Students – Update 1

HESC-June/July-Students

Our intrepid adventurers meeting the cheetah cubs

Our new students have decided to split themselves into two groups. We’re not exactly sure what the reason for this is, but hopefully they’ll tell us at some point. For now Group B just needs a name, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below. It looks like they’ve been really busy since arriving at HESC, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because they look like the sort that would get into mischief if left to their own devices!

Group A (a.k.a. Team Nyala)

So far at the Centre we’ve been threatened by Wild cats, hissed at by Black-footed cats and chased by Wild dogs. And at the end of the day we still have to put up with Group B. It’s all worth it though, especially when you get kisses from a Nyala, purrs from a lion and entertainment from a cheetah. This last week we’ve carried a darted Wild dog, prepared meat for some spoilt cheetahs, learned a bit about South Africa, gone white water rafting with hippos beneath and crocs around us, seen the crying face of the third deepest canyon in the world and dodged some crazy Southern Ground hornbills and Zita the zebra. We also had a munch at the vulture restaurant, witnessed a tricky food triangle between some genets, an owl and a serval, and watched three cheeky cheetah cubs attempting to climb trees. Our evenings have been spent around the campfire, playing cards and the occasional game of Twister, all with lions roaring in the background. And then we fall asleep to the tunes of the African bush. Stay tuned for more of our exciting adventures.

Group B

After a very long journey we arrived at Hoedspruit from all corners of the world. After lots of talking around the braai and a decent night’s sleep, we were all set for the days that lay ahead of us. Our first day kicked off with us seeing three Wild dogs being darted by the vet and relocated from HESC to another reserve (woof, woof!).

The adventures don’t stop there either – we’ve also been feeding small animals like the Black-footed cat, caracals, tortoises and Southern Ground hornbills. These funny looking birds took a fancy to Natalie who would have loved to spend the rest of the day with them. We’ve also been in the butchery cutting the fat off meat for the cheetahs and dishing out rotten meat covered in maggots (ew!) to the vultures. On Saturday we went river rafting, which was lots of fun. There was also a bum slide, which was very cold and only for the brave among us. The bum slide was voluntary but Natalie falling in on the last rapid definitely wasn’t! This trip ended in a pizza party! Yum.

Our excursion on Sunday was a boat trip in the Blyde River Canyon. It’s the third largest canyon in the world, and the largest green canyon. We saw plenty of birds, including a Giant Kingfisher and some White-breasted Cormorants. To top it all off, we saw a crocodile baking in the sun on the river bank. Where’s the crocodile hunter when you need him?

Remember to visit our Facebook and Flikr albums to see more photos of all the crazy stuff we’ve been up to.

Greetings from Africa,

Teams A & B

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