Always looking for animals

Sam, Katy, and Noggs in Africa


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Tough as a honey bastard

Sam and I are definitely predator people. The more badass the predator, the better. And there is nothing tougher than a honey badger or honey bastard as Sam accidentally said in his presentation at the recent SAWMA conference. Here’s an article about why they are so tough.

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A honey badger we watched in the Kgalagadi National Park.

We don’t have a lot of predators living at our house. We photograph mongoose and genet on our camera trap and there are leopard occasionally on the wildlife estate, although we haven’t seen one. The other day when I checked the camera trap in our driveway, we had photographed a honey badger carrying a snake egg in his mouth, which was pretty exciting and well-hard, especially since most of the snakes around here are not to be messed with.

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Finding these pictures solved the mystery of who had been digging holes in the nearby mound of dirt with snake egg shells by the entrance. We hope the honey badger will be a regular on our camera traps and we don’t mind if he munches some snake eggs or even snakes nearby. What a badass.

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We try to share all aspects of life in the bush with Noggs and explain everything we see. We let him look up close and get hands on with anything safe to touch. He has pretty good understanding of nature. He knows that spiders spin webs to catch insects and that giraffes eat leaves and that the bird that makes a loud honking noise at dusk is a hadada ibis.

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Checking out the hole. There were still yolks in the shells!

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Watching a zebra in the bush.

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Wearing a cape in the Cape: conferencing and holidaying in Cape Town

This was our second year attending the Southern Africa Wildlife Management Association’s (SAWMA) annual conference. This year it was in Rawsonville in the Western Cape. The SAWMA conference is such a great event. The talks are always fantastic, as is the networking. And you leave feeling full of ideas and invigorated about wildlife conservation.

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Sam’s talk on small carnivore ecosystem services

Reading the environmental news is depressing; big headlines about sea levels rising, temperatures rising, oceans filled with plastic, species extinction rates, and overpopulation are everywhere. Images of snared animals, melting ice caps, and dissected and discarded rhinos are hard to avoid. They must not be avoided, but this media can make me feel small, insignificant, and overwhelmed in the face of all these environmental challenges. However, the SAWMA conference helps me to feel like I’m not alone and that as conservationists and scientists together, we are not insignificant. Meeting other people in my field and seeing people unite towards the common cause of protecting wildlife is empowering and rewarding. That’s what I love about the SAWMA conference.

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Tea break chats with with old and new contacts

So we had a good conference. We think Noggs enjoyed it too.

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Noggs’ tablecloth cape at the conference’s wine tasting event

After three days of learning, networking, and dressing as conservation super heroes, we headed to Cape Town. We love Cape Town. It is a stunning city. There are so many beautiful wild places (and animals) within its borders. Here are some photos from our adventures exploring the city. Back home again now. Tired, happy, and full of birthday cake (thank you Sam!).

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Enjoying Camp’s Bay beach

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The Company’s Garden

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

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The tree lined walkway in Kirstenbosch

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Face painting at Kirstenbosch

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Hugging Mr Mandela


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A blog from Noggs

We are pretty busy at the moment so Noggs is in charge of this week’s blogpost. Noggs who is two has started making up and telling up stories. Here are two stories we heard recently:

Once upon a time, Chickaletta (a chicken from the Paw Patrol TV show) is stuck in a tree. She needs Mummy’s ladder. Mummy, bring the ladder. A robot eats Chickaletta. She is not okay. The end. 

Marshall rescuing Chickaletta

Once upon a time, a giraffe sees an impala. He is scared. He goes to his Daddy. The end. 

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Have a lovely weekend everyone!