Saturday, December 22, 2012

the great escape

Just when I think I have nothing to write about in this blog, something happens!

I was walking to the lapa for breakfast this morning, crossed over the bridge that goes over the crocodile enclosure, and--oops--there's a full grown crocodile lying on the grass outside of its enclosure. Just sunning itself in the early morning.

Recently, the edges of the enclosure were moved, and I think the croc wanted to go back to where it had been. Easy to understand, rather shocking to see.

Well, you can imagine the commotion. Everyone gathering around, much figuring about how to get this massive beast (I've always called him Kramer--his friend Newman)  back where he belongs. I have to tell you, African men are very brave. First they tried to lure him along with some meat. He moved a little but it was pretty dangerous since he kept lurching toward the meat--and therefore lurching toward the man doing it, Johan.

Then they went to get a heavy duty strap, used a pole to get it around his gaping mouth--which was like trying to rope a bull at a rodeo. Finally they got it around the top of his jaw and then pulled him along like a resistant puppy. Truly amazing and a fun way to start the day.

On a different note, I got bit yesterday aftenoon by an African wild dog--a pretty fierce predator, even though this one was fairly young. He grabbed my fingers as I was closing a gate and ripped down. It could have been much worse. It's just a couple of gashes and some puncture wounds, although one gash was quite wide and probably could have used stitches. I only bring it up because I realized that with this bite, I've now been bitten by all the major animals at Harnas--lion, leopard, cheetah, baboon, vervet monkey, meerkat, and now wild dog--and I've got the scars to prove it. Quite an accomplishment, I think. :-)

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