We thought we would use the month of October to bring you a special edition of our newsletter to update you on what is going on with some of the animals that you all have come to know and love on the Zululand Rhino Reserve.
Our three big males are still together and as impressive as ever. The dominant brother has been seen mating one of the females recently so we are hoping for cubs in the not too distant future. Two of our adult females have five, quite large, cubs that are close to a year old now and our drives are seeing them regularly. The youngest cubs in the reserve are about six months old and are walking with a lioness and her now adult daughter. We are anticipating the introduction of a couple more adult male lions soon for genetic variation which will surely add some excitement to the lion social scene in the reserve.
For now our pack remains at five adult wild dogs (two males and three females). Unfortunately this year’s wild dog litter didn’t survive (we suspect hyaenas may have been the culprit). While very tragic, it is not unusual for wild dogs to lose some or all of their puppies in any given year. We hope that 2017 will bring a new litter of puppies for the reserve. The adults however are doing very well and have been spending time here on the Rhino River Lodge property (even occasionally running through camp!)
The elephant herd has been all over the reserve, back and forth between the north and south, probably due to the drought conditions and the recent rains. There are a few little ones with them and a couple very small babies as well. The bulls and even the herd are occasionally visiting our drought feeding sights allowing for some spectacular up-close viewing in open areas.
We have one adult male cheetah in the ZRR who has recently been seen marking his territory not too far from our lodge. One of our adult females had a litter of three cubs which are only about three months old now. Hopefully they will make themselves a bit more visible to game drives in the reserve soon. We are about to introduce another two males to the reserve to boost the number of adult males and for genetic variation.
Our drives have been getting very lucky with multiple sightings of a relaxed adult female on the Rhino River Lodge property. Another adult male was spotted by our game drive just outside of the lodge!
Our darling Lucky is hanging in there. Lucky is quite an old female and the drought has been hard on her. She is still doing okay and we bring her her very own bale of Lucerne every day so the other animals don’t accidentally push her off. We are monitoring her closely and hoping the rains continue to fall.
Photos by Kyle Naude