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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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What could be more fun than having a zoo in your back yard. Kudos. emoticon
    1277 days ago
  • WJO1212
    WOW!!!! And I thought the occasional white tailed deer by my pond was exciting! Truly Awesome! I would be scared to death! An elephant in your yard! I am just blown away and in awe. I never thought about them in yards! Do you get big cats as well?? How do you spend time outside with out being in danger. Everything we have around here runs away when they see you. Last fall Opening day of deer season the hunters jumped a black bear across from my house (see Port Gibson Black Bear on uTube) Ok I am so in awe I am rambling- Please keep up the "lectures" I love it!! Your so blessed!
    1327 days ago
    Yeah, for me that would be pigeons and squirrels. No profit there. I hope it all turns out well for you.
    1338 days ago
    That's so exciting! Keep us updated!
    1341 days ago
    All I can say is WOW! Sitting here stateside in the good old Midwest, I am awed by the beauty and excitement in your life and literally on your back door step! Thank you for sharing...your words as always are touching and blessed.
    1342 days ago
    wow! That sounds so awesome! You have to take some pictures some day to post!

    I am also glad to read you are doing well!!

    I couldn't imagine being able to look out my window and see such a majestic creature in my yard - that is so very awesome! No wonder you are so excited! I would be too!!

    I hope your deal with the neighbor works out well for the both of you!
    1343 days ago
    Wow, that sounds A M A Z I N G ! Sending prayers up for a successful negotiation that takes care of both sides and benefits the breeding and raising of these amazing animals. W O W again!
    1343 days ago
  • CMW405
    Love the blog! I was fascinated the whole time, so please keep the lectures coming! Fingers crossed that it all works out for you, since I hope to hear how it all comes together and goes along in the future. I know how to keep deer, squirrels, alligators and birds from a garden, but no clue about elephants and rhinos!
    1343 days ago
    OMG! Please do not STOP sharing your stories! This was so exciting to read, since I never KNEW anything about this! So I feel like I am getting a lesson on life in Africa, your cultures, and experiences. I TRULY, and SINCERELY, love to hear about the LIVES of Others, so Thanks for Sharing!

    I hope it works out for you and your family. I had no idea of all the complexities of the area, the laws, and understanding about "wild life."

    How ExCiting!!!!

    1343 days ago
    That is so way cool! It's so odd (and perhaps I'm just naive and a "small town girl") to think other people live like that. It kinda blows my mind that you may have random animals like ZEBRAS and ELEPHANTS in your yard!!! The most we get in our yard is rabbits and occasionally a chipmunk...lol Exciting times over here, let me tell ya! I'd love to travel the world and live with "normal" families in other cultures! Imagine how much you'd learn!
    1343 days ago
    Ok, that's it, I am coming to visit.... emoticon

    And here I am bragging about Rhino's in Nairobi National Park..... and getting all excited about Hornbills visiting our garden regularly.
    1343 days ago
    OH MY WORD how lucky are you?! I can imagine you waking up with an elli on your front lawn lol. What a wonderful world you will be living in.....Im totally jealous.(in a good way)
    1343 days ago
    Very interesting...good luck to you on having the paper work done and cattle arriving. It's great that you are sooooo excited all the best my friend.
    1343 days ago
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