What's been going on: 1-17 August

HESC - July/August Students with staff

The July/August Students with HESC staff

We’ve had a busy and exciting few weeks here at the Centre (with a long weekend thrown in for good measure), which is why we’ve been a little slow with our updates. A number of schools came to visit, we celebrated the opening of our new Community Art Gallery, and we waved goodbye to our July/August intake of students. We also bid a sad farewell to our receptionist, Zena Buys. We wish her everything of the best in her future endeavours. Gone but not forgotten Zena! Temperatures have been mild during the past couple of weeks, but a cold front arrived over the weekend to remind us that winter is not quite over. Still, it’s hard to believe the season is almost over and spring is just around the corner.


Our six Picasso cubs are now living at the Centre’s creche and thoroughly enjoying the attention of the visitors, who routinely fall in love with these mischievous bundles of fluff. We’ve had to put coloured collars on the four month old cubs in order to differentiate between them, as they come from two different litters. They are equally paired up in terms of gender however, with three females and three males. We took some photographs of the little one after it rained last Sunday. Us humans have a lot to say regarding the weather, so we thought it was high time that we asked the animals their opinion on the subject. Needless to say we received some entertaining responses from them. Click here to see their comments.


HESC - Cheetah cub

Our very own monkey-cheetah

We recently discovered that something suspect has managed to creep into our cheetah gene pool. As a result we now have an animal that appears to be equal parts cheetah and monkey. This amusing photo of one of our cheetah cubs gave us the distinct impression that it was a funny little monkey masquerading in a cheetah’s body. Have a look and let us know if you agree.


HESC - Wild dog puppy

Jock the newly adopted Wild dog puppy

At long last, Jock, our darling Wild dog puppy, has been adopted. Erhardt Mostert visited HESC with his family about three months ago. Erhardt loves Wild dogs so much that he decided he just had to do something to validate this passion. After enquiring about our Wild Dog Adoption Program, Erhardt then returned to the Centre recently to decide exactly which dog to adopt. You can just imagine his immense excitement when he heard there was a puppy available for adoption. Watching our Wild dogs feeding – with the alpha pair and the little puppy tucking in first – sealed the deal for young Erhardt. There and then he decided to adopt this puppy and call it Jock. A fitting name indeed for such an adorable puppy.


HESC - Lizard Buzzard

The exhausted Lizard buzzard

Our curator, Christo, discovered a Lizard buzzard in Tristan’s (king cheetah) camp. The bird was clearly exhausted so Christo decided to put him in the animal hospital to recover. After a couple of days his eyes had only opened slightly, but he has since made a remarkable recovery. His eyes are now wide open and he’s even been stretching his wings. We’ll keep him for a little while longer, just to make absolutely sure that he’s fine, and then we’ll release him back into the wild.

Lizard buzzards are intra-African migrants. This means that they breed elsewhere in Africa (in this case Tanzania) and then make their way down to South Africa during our spring/summer, which is their non-breeding season. We think this buzzard left home a little too early, hence his subsequent exhaustion. Flying in the cold is obviously much harder work than we realise.


HESC - Leopard

The injured leopard is feeling a little better