Domestic wildlife – The South African version

Due to the recent increases in temperature, the middle of day is now quite hot and as a result, the mongoose flake out in the shade for a few hours and we head back to the house. During one of these midday breaks, I got a good view of the local troop of baboons as they cavorted on our back lawn. One of the larger males even came and sat himself on the stoep (patio-type area), no more than 5m from me – although I was inside and hiding behind my curtain. When I moved and took a photo he freaked out and ran off.

Not the big male, but a nice photo of one of the others

Not the big male, but a nice photo of one of the others

Not long after, I heard a noise from the other side of the house and moving to investigate, I found another part of the troop, including the cutest little youngster who was exploring various things by chewing them – twigs, grass, even his own foot at one point!

My favourite photo of the baboon family

My favourite photo of the baboon family

A number of reptiles are present both in and around the house. Before I came out here, there were apparently some baby Mozambique Spitting Cobras in the grass outside my bedroom. Nyala and Kudu both have skinks in their room, whilst Kudu also found a tiny gecko. We recently found another gecko in the kitchen, which moved into my room a few hours later. Despite flicking through a reptiles book, we couldn’t identify it. If you know what it might be, we would be very interested to find out!

The unidentified gecko

The unidentified gecko

Talking of things I’m interested in, I found a pretty awesome moth the other day. A Walker’s Owl Moth which can have a wingspan of 12cm! I put it in a box and into the fridge to reduce its activity (standard practice for restless moths), which the others were somewhat bemused by. But it worked, as I managed to get a decent photo of it for identification.

Huge Walker's Owl Moth!

Huge Walker’s Owl Moth!

We’ve seen kudu and bushbuck down at the riverbank, vervet monkeys scrambling around the trees and across the lawn, and waterbuck grazing on the lawn. Hippo have also been heard on the lawn at night (slightly unnerving when you’re just dropping off to sleep). So even being at home can be exciting for wildlife … and it helps when that home is in South Africa!

 

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