An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
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Sunday, June 18, 2006

More interesting than Australia v Brazil


In the spirit of the FIFA World Cup and in acknowledgement of the fact that I have absolutely no interest in soccer (apparently it's now called football) here's a pic of something interesting that I saw on a soccer field in South Africa.


We were on a morning game drive out of Umlani Bush Camp (www.umlani.com) on the border of the Kruger National Park and came across a pack of about a dozen African wild dogs (Africa's most efficient predator and most endangered mammal).

Unfortunately we'd just missed them gobbling up (more like ripping apart) an impala for breakfast, but a pack of hyena showed up and cleaned up what remained. The dogs took off into the bush, but were soon followed by the hyenas. Hyenas often follow wild dogs because they know the of the dogs' killer reputation.

When we caught sight of the dogs again it was on the football field at the back of neighbouring Tanda Thula lodge (where the staff from the various lodges in the area chase a ball around and hug each other, in true soccer, errr 'football' style). We watched the hyenas and dogs chasing each other back and forth across the pitch for about half an hour. Occasionally there would be a stand-off, like the one above, where fangs were barred and snarls exchanged, but it was all pretty harmless.

You can't teach an old dog like me to like soccer/football, but clear patches of ground do come in handy in the African bush sometimes.

4 comments :

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I like the look on the face of the hyena - reminds me of several female bosses I've had over the years...

An Anglo-Indian once proposed to me on his motorbike while sitting watching hyenas in Malawi.

It didn't seem especially romantic, so I said no.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

ps - RSM lost out to yet more $%^&* reno work on the M'ville house this weekend.

Stay tuned.

Uncle G said...

Stayed up to watch the socceroos for a while and ended up switching to movie on channel 9 "Soldier" with Kurt Russell. Was more fun seeing the women and children being blown away than the Socceroos. At least the goodies won in the end [in the movie]
Least we won the Rugby against the poms..had 12 poms staying as guests..in the morning put my Wallabies T shirt and cap on a rose bush alongside the path to their cars and then went and hid.
[is this tragic enough for you?]
Dont know what they thought and still haven't found who slashed the tyres on the car.....

tonypark said...

Hate to think what sort of pranks you would have played if there were Brazilians staying, uncle G.