I’ve been out of everything for the last couple of weeks. Tucked away on the Olifants River – one of the few perennial rivers in this part of the world – at the bush place I share with some friends. Its only downside (or you might well call it an upside depending on your perspective) is that it has very weak cell phone reception and so even weaker internet reception. But now I’m back in Johannesburg and looking forward to catching up on all the blogs I’ve missed.
The manager of our game reserve believes he lost one of his dogs to a croc and nearly last the other. He was resting in the bush one day when he noticed the dog was not with him. Something made him nervous and, looking around, he discovered that the dog was drinking at the river. At the same time he noticed ripples moving towards the bank. Crocodiles are reputed to be attracted to animal lapping sounds transmitted through the water. He yelled but the dog went on drinking. He ran down the bank and grabbed the animal in time, and the ripples subsided.
And crocodiles have been around a long time. The fossil record shows that they have been around in a form pretty similar to the modern day Nile Crocodile since the time of the dinosaurs. They cover most of Africa outside the arid regions. Obviously they are doing something right.
On the other hand, recently a horrible malady has been attacking them not too far downstream from where we have our bungalow. The cause isn’t clear, but it seems to make the fatty tissue of their bodies hard, paralyzing them and leading to a horrible death. The carcasses have to be collected into piles and burnt. I’m glad to say that our crocs look pretty healthy and well fed. No swimming in the river, no matter how hot it gets in summer.
Michael - Thursday