Nicola took ages to come to the village this morning for our meeting. Nicola works at Harnas and is Frikkieâs little helper if Frikkie were santa clause. She takes care of a lot of planning and running of the activities and while Frikkie is away for the week, Nicola was pretty much left in charge with Mikkel to assist her. When she finally came to breakfast she apologised to everyone saying she âoverleptâ but then was overheard saying that she didnât even get to sleep last night. She wasnât very happy yesterday morning or apparently the night before either but i donât know anything about that. I think shes having a lot on her mind with leaving the farm soon to travel Ireland with her friend.
And I donât think Frikkie and the other staff members werenât taking her leaving too well. If I was a worker there Iâd be pretty upset to see Nicola go because she did so much work around that place! I really like her, sheâs great. When Nicola finally came down an hour late, we got into our groups pretty much straight away. I was pretty determined to go to Lost today so was happy that it was on the schedule and that no one else wanted to do it from my group. Before I go any further, Lost is an 18 month old Leopard. Sheâs out on the opposite side of lifeline so she can learn to hunt and kill for herself. She is sooooooooo gorgeous. We spend the whole day sitting in a small round dam house with windows to watch her and record what she does and which game animals come around and for how long, etc.
The four of us assigned to Lost got in the car ready to head out after waiting what seemed like a lifetime waiting for Mikkel. Our lunch was brought to us in a brown paper bag like we were ready to head out on our first day of primary school again. The only thing that was missing was a kiss followed by âHave a good day sweetheart!â Considering we werenât going to be getting back until 6ish we bought a couple of chocolate bars and a drink aswell. Itâs a pretty long day out there doing nothing but count game and entertain Lost who wouldnât leave the windows for the first hour and a half. The Dam house was pretty cool for what it was. Made of stone and containing a wooden spiral staircase that leads to a roof/lookout which we werenât allowed to go out onto because Lost finds it fun to pretty much get anywhere that exists really.
She has been known to find her way INTO the dam house before and scare the absolute crap out of the volunteers out there for the day. She is beautiful.
There isnât any fencing on the other side of the lifeline to block her in anywhere other than the fencing 12kms away at the front gate and surrounding the farm and volunteer village. The Lifeline is the large and spacious double fenced area directly outside the farm and village area which holds some of the wilder animals. This is where we go when we do enclosure patrol and where the tour takes the visitors/guests and does the outside feedings. They are out here to slowly rear them off human interaction (even though they still have contact everyday, just not 24/7 like the animals on the farm).
The farm is about 10,000 hectares, or acres...?!! Dont know which one so its a huge place. Once these animals are strong and able enough they will be released further into the 12kms land to be able to hunt game and kill for themselves. This being where Lost is, she has a lot of freedom and choices when it comes to exploring. She still hangs around the dam house during the day though. She gets meat brought to her because she was hand raised at the farm and because sheâs a night hunter she doesnât do much during the day. Game counting was interesting because we learnt the different species and how to tell the males and females apart. We had warthogs, wild horses, and male and female kudu come through. I added in the summary that 3 elephants trudged on by just to see if they really do read what they make us write.
Mikkel came to pick us up about 5pm then we had to go out to the tree house to pick up the group who took Cleo and Pride out (2 cheetahs) and bring them back. However we only came back with one cheetah, Cleo, as Pride took it upon herself to go off for a wander and not come back when she was called. We all searched around for about half an hour but had to leave without her as it would have been impossible to find her with 8 of us on foot. She can only go so far in the lifeline though and nothing can harm her. It was decided that a group would be sent out tomorrow to find her. Poor little Pride, out in the big wide world of mini wilderness all by herself...