By Will Knocker:
NNP has one of the most significant herds of eland in the country.
We have perfect eland habitat with plenty of seasonal grazing & browsing, in a variety of habitats from semi-desert scrub to dry afromontane forest.
Eland have huge ranges, however and our herd is now confined to the 130 square kilometre Park and surrounding buffer zones and conservancies.
The SGR railway is about to punch through this haven for elands and so many other creatures. Will they survive going into the future?
The eland: the largest of African antelopes: perfectly adapted to survive in harsh African conditions, is now reduced to a few thousand individuals in Kenya.
“Bull Eland Trotting” by Lavinia Grant.
These magnificent creatures deserve space: let us give it to them?
By Will Knocker:
Yesterday an excited Kumbu, my neighbour’s child, came to call me to see a rare sight: a python!
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!
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….
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!
By Will Knocker
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…)
Then in March we came across this mating pair at the top of the Athi Basin: more cubs to come?
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.
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 !
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 .
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…
By Will Knocker
For all you Mammologists out there: what is this little antelope ?
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.
Of these we have up to 500 in NNP…
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…
This is one of the many threatened species of large mammal which find sanctuary in NNP (the Browse rhino springs to mind)
Truly, these creatures, though existing elsewhere (Athi Kapiti, Shompole) will only have space to exist in the Nairobi Park in the future..
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….)
The question is : will the Eastern gnu survive the SGR ?
Let’s hope for the best for these fab animals…
By Will da Beast