Monday, December 16, 2013

A Terrorist at Harnas

If you look back at last December's blog near the end, you'll read the story of bobby,the springbok I rescued--just a baby, only days old. Well, Bobby is grown now, wandering the lapa lawn, and he has become a terrorist. He's a year old, with real horns that the vet has covered in rubber so he doesn't kill somebody (see picture). He needs to go out with the wild springboks, but so far that hasn't happened. He stalks the lawn.

What Bobby does is pick someone and charge her as she walks across the lapa lawn. He's fast and he's ruthless and I've had to grab him by the horns to try to keep him from goring me several times. I've reminded him that I saved his life but he ignores my pleas. No respect at all.

Yesterday he chased me and I had to keep hiding behind bushes and trees as I made my way across the grass. If Pickles is around, she fends him off--he's scared of her--but one time Bobby chased me until I tripped and smacked my head on the ground. A big volunteer guy rescued me by chasing him off. Thirty minutes after my encounter, Cornelia had a similar experience. She had to run at top speed (something  she didn't know she could do) and she says she "zig zagged across the lawn like in the movies."

Last night on the way to dinner, Cornelia and I crossed the bridge to the lawn and there he was, waiting for us like Billy Goat Gruff. Guarding the way. Challenging our position. I looked over at the lapa and saw a small white body--Pickles! I called to her and she came running. This 15- pound dog worked as our bodyguard, walking along beside us, barking at Bobby and keeping him at bay. Embarrassing.

At dinner we made our plan for getting home: we saved a piece of meat to lure Marieta's dogs to follow us across the lawn. In the end, though, we admitted to Marieta that we were scared, so she (carrying two baby baboons), her 10-year-old granddaughter Nica, and six dogs accompanied us the 60 yards to the bridge. How humiliating! But he really seems to hate us! And his horns are scary! And he doesn't realize I saved his life!

Only at Harnas. Put me in an enclosure with a full grown lion and I'm fine, but put me up against a springbok who's bonkers, and I'm a damsel in distress.


  1. I loved this story. Pickles to the rescue!

  2. Frikkie told us to pelt him with rocks. That worked for me and soon I only needed to use the gesture. I had to be rescued multiple times before I had the nerve to hit him. It is SO embarrassing, and he's grown since I met him.