Elephants and Rhinos in my garden?
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Last night I heard that our neighbour who farms game on the property next to ours, proposed that we drop the fence between our farms. We have small (read non lethal, small includes giraffe though, go figure) game on our farm. When that happens we will have his elephants and rhino on our farm too. The animals will still belong to him, but they will graze on our property. This is a good thing if we want to go into tourism. It will also greatly add to the value of our property.
How Great Is That!?
DH and FIL are sorting out the details of the deal, like who will maintain which fences (that is a problem with ellies) who will do security (poachers are a huge problem if you have rhino) who will be responsible for fire breaks etc.
If this deal pans out I will be overjoyed.
For all those who don't live in Africa, over here you can 'farm' wildlife. If you have adequate fences so that your animals stay on your property, they are yours like cattle. (Similar property laws apply) People do that for tourism, some people breed the rare ones to sell, and some people just plain farm them for meat.
(Blesbokke in the Free State for instance)
Each year we have a huge game auction in a town called Hoedspruit, not far from where I live. The animals are herded by helicopter, into a canvas sheet enclosure, that funnels into special trucks. They are then driven to Hoedspruit. There, they are kept in pole bomas (corrals) at the auction site to tame down. The auction happens once they are settled. Buyers walk along an elevated ramp looking down into the game pens. The animals are not chased about like they are at normal stock auctions, the buyers go to them. Fairly quietly.
Rhino and Ellies have to be darted from a helicopter, loaded into crates and then woken up and driven to the auction.
People often buy animals directly from sellers. If a landowner has to many zebra, he will contract a game capture team with all the know how and equipment to catch them, load them up and transport them to the buyers property. They are often kept in bomas to settle down, or can be jumped directly off the truck using an earthen loading ramp. If you do that they remain very wild for quite a while. Some species have to be boma-ed or they will disappear and never be seen again, like eland or sable antelope. Big cats are kept in huge camps for almost a year for the same reason.
Sorry about the longwinded lecture, but I am seriously excited over here.
Bless you, Sparkies!