Assessments interrupted by lions

23rd November 2013

Friday 15th November 2013

It was probably a blessing being on duty as it meant I had to get up that little bit earlier and therefore had more time to wake up. Not that it made much difference as I made such a stupid mistake with the first track at 05.35 and got the day off to a bad start. Luckily my eye for the tracks improved as the day went on.

In the afternoon session we were doing tracks down by Galon Dam when Leo turned up. It was all back into the Landy when Leo (the research team) turned up and informed us that according to their telemetry there was a lioness just 20m behind us in the thicket.

We moved on and resumed the assessment. I was last to go on one particular track but couldn’t concentrate as all I heard when kneeling down at the track, was ‘hurry hurry, there’s a male lion making its way towards us’. There was no visual but LEO had it on their telemetry.

A good session around the campfire, really interesting listening to innocent’s life story of being a subsistence poacher when he was a boy to now being one of the best trackers in the country and he’s only 22.

How not to annoy your fellow students when doing a tracking assessment:

1. Don’t winge when you make a stupid mistake, I don’t care unless I made the same stupid mistake.
2. We’re trying to identify footprints in the dust, why do you think it will help by adding yours.
3. If it’s an obvious giraffe track, ID it and move on, the longer you take the more it looks anything but a giraffe.