Friendly Hyena Cubs

April 16th, 2015
We have a soft spot for hyenas and when we came across this great blog from  ranger Julian Parsons at Makakatana Bay Lodge, we had to share! DSC_6195 “Until recent we have found it particularly difficult to approach and observe the spotted hyenas of the Western Shores reserve as they are generally extremely shy and skittish by nature, only allowing us a fleeting glimpse as they lope off into the safety of the night. This however appears to be changing as the new and improved generation of hyenas are showing us a little more interest than before. Over the last month and a bit my fellow ranger, Jordan, and I have been truly blessed with a number of incredible sightings of a particular mother and her two adorable fluffy cubs. For some reason this particular trio have become extremely habituated to the presence of our game-viewers, allowing us to sit and admire them as the prance around playing with one another in amazingly close proximity to the vehicle. It also seems as if they are becoming increasingly brave as they come running up to the vehicle as soon as they hear me kill the engine, where they will give us a quick once-over sniff before losing interest and continuing their playful assault on their exhausted mother. I really do hope this is the start of an incredible relationship between us and these amazing creatures so that we can comfortably admire them in their natural environment without any unwanted stress put on the animals. Let’s hope that the next time you visit us we will be able to show you our friendly hyenas.” DSC_6188

What’s a Bunny Chow?

April 10th, 2015
The enigmatically named “bunny chow” is a beloved dish in South Africa consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry! The dish originated in Durban, a bustling city on the Indian Ocean coast, and is thought to have been toted as a mobile lunchbox by the migrant workers who came over from India to work in the sugar plantations.   File:Bunnychow.jpg Bunny chows are commonly filled with curries made using traditional recipes from Durban: mutton or lamb, chicken, bean and chips with curry gravy are popular fillings now, although the original bunny chow was vegetarian. Bunny chows are often served with a side portion of grated carrot, chilli and onion salad, commonly known as sambals. A key characteristic of a bunny chow is created when gravy from the curry fillings soaks into the walls of the bread. Sharing a single bunny chow is not uncommon. Bunny chows come in quarter, half and full loaves. When ordering a bunny chow in Durban, the local slang dictates that you need only ask for a “quarter mutton” (or flavour and size of your choice). Bunny chows are mainly eaten using the fingers; it is unusual to see locals use utensils when eating this dish. Bunny chow is presented to customers wrapped in yesterday’s newspapers. Today bunny chows are available in many small take-aways and Indian restaurants throughout South Africa. The price ranges from R6 for a quarter beans or dhal, to R40 for a quarter mutton bunny, and generally one can multiply the price of a quarter by between 3 and 4 to attain the price of a full bunny. Each year, the Bunny Chow Barometer is held in September on the south bank of the Umgeni River, just above Blue Lagoon (a popular Sunday picnic spot), attracting numerous entrants from across the Durban Metro region to compete for the title of top bunny maker. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)  

World’s First Blue Eyed Dagga Boy!

April 1st, 2015

A ‘dagga boy’ has been discovered in the Kruger National Park with sapphire blue eyes!

blue eyed buffalo

© Steven Smith

This is the only known image of the buffalo and already it has been causing speculation within scientific circles.

Rangers have christened the animal ‘Franky’ after the popular blue eyed crooner, Frank Sinatra, and they are on the lookout for possible offspring with the same blue-eyed phenotype.

Blue eyes have been known to occur in Asia’s water buffalo but this is the first known case in a Cape buffalo.

Color morphs or variants are common within the animal kingdom. Blue eyes are often linked to albinism in animals. However, white lions and white elephants (also seen in the Kruger) have blue eyes due to a lack of melanin in the iris of the eye.

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