Python at Silole

By Will Knocker:

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Yesterday an excited Kumbu, my neighbour’s child, came to call me to see a rare sight: a python!

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It had caught an adult hare & swallowed it in record time (must have been hungry!) This snake was 5 foot long, so a hare was mighty big for it!

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We have a plague of Bush hyrax at Silole (& obviously not enough predators) & pythons are often killed on sight, so to me at least, this snake is very welcome….

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Having put back it’s dislocated jaw (the only way to swallow such large prey) it slithered off to find a resting place, where it  will hide & digest for the next month or two….that is one Big Meal!

Lions Doing Well in NNP

By Will Knocker

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We came across this lioness (collared poor thing: why?) with 3 cubs just below the Olomanyi Dam: the naughty cubs followed her when she needed to go hunting: they were unceremoniously taken back by the scruff of the neck (the other 2 cubs followed behind…)

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Then in March we came across this mating pair at the top of the Athi Basin: more cubs to come?

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Just what is the relationship between these adult lions?

The genetics of the NNP lions not great: inbreeding, but KWS unwilling or unable to do anything about it…..

Nonetheless the Park is a Lion’s Paradise, with a huge biomass & as much wildlife as a lion can eat.

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Yesterday (Sunday 26) at dawn we came across a lioness in the Olomanyi valley trotting along with a purpose: she doubled back up the hill as though looking for something…..another adult lioness !

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They met up with much purring & rubbing of faces & then out of the (very dry) scrub came 4 sub-adult lions: 1 male & 3 females & again a huge reunion: a delight to watch…They all headed off into the kichaka at the valley bottom .

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These giraffes nearby were almost as surprise as we were to see this wonderful Lion Reunion !

There are estimated to be 35 -40 lions in the Nairobi National Park, some adult males of which we could hear roaring last night (26/3) hear at Silole…

 

Eastern White Bearded Gnu (Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus)

Images by Peter Moszynski

Estimates of Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest indicate a steep decline in the subspecies’ populations to a current level of perhaps 6,000-8,000 animals.

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Of these we have up to 500 in NNP…

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They usually stay in the Sheep and Goat Land between Athi River & Kitengela (outside the Park), but drought & incursions into this bit of short-grass habitat forces them into the (longer grassed) Park…

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This is one of the many threatened species of large mammal which find sanctuary in NNP (the Browse rhino springs to mind)

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Truly, these creatures, though existing elsewhere (Athi Kapiti, Shompole) will only have space to exist in the Nairobi Park in the future..

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A sad fate for a perfectly adapted creature which (it is estimated) numbered 100,000 in the Athi Kapiti ecosystem (the plains around what is now Nairobi….)

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The question is : will the Eastern gnu survive the SGR ?

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Let’s hope for the best for these fab animals…

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By Will da Beast