Episode 31 Season 6: 21 June 2015
Walking with lions: conservation or con.
Once roaming free through most of Africa, lions have now been confined to under a quarter of their natural home range. Their populations, once 300 thousand strong, have been reduced to a mere 30 thousand. It is a scientifically proven fact that captive bred lions hold no conservation value, but the captive industry continues to thrive, bringing in vast amounts of money from tourists who jump at the opportunity to get up close to Africa’s king of the beasts. Join us as we explore the concept of ‘walking with lions’, and weigh up the value of breeding programmes claiming to reintroduce captive bred lions back into the wild.
Thandi’s baby: a story of survival and hope
A brave survivor of a horrific poaching incident, rhino Thandi was left lying in a pool of blood with her horn hacked off and her skull mutilated. A team of vets, together with the staff at the Kariega Game Reserve decided to operate on her face in the hope that she may survive the ordeal. Survive she did, and we at 50/50 are delighted to bring you her story, culminating in the birth of Thembi, a vivacious little calf.
Wildlife Wonder: something to chew on
In the constant battle for survival, animals have developed different ways of extracting as much energy from their chosen food source. In the world of herbivores, there are 2 main ways of processing plant matter: rumination and hind-gut fermentation. In this week’s Wildlife Wonder we explore the merits and demerits of these two digestion processes and how different herbivores must contend with seasonal limitations and advantages to their chosen methods.
Rhino Brief: Drones
The idea of unmanned flying machines – or drones, has long been associated with the military, spying on their enemies and blowing up suspicious looking buildings. But in South Africa drones are still illegal in any public domain. The Kruger National Park with its massive expanses of land, difficult terrain and limited resources is now in discussions with various sectors, with the intent of testing these military style drones to protect our country’s rhino populations. Bonne once again heads into South Africa’s largest reserve to find out exactly what these futuristic flying devices are capable of, and how they will contribute to the ongoing war against rhino poaching.
In this week’s Veld Focus, we are in the right place at the right time – with a variety of creatures performing some really interesting behaviour. A giraffe develops some strange cravings, a mystery fish gives a crocodile a helping fin and Rock Hyraxes take to the trees.