Gondwana has kicked off with a bang this game capture season with many exciting wildlife introductions taking place. Herds of Eland and Gemsbok have already arrived with hundreds of Blue Wildebeest, Springbok, Red Hartebeest and Waterbuck to set hoof on the reserve in June and July! These introductions will take Gondwana Game Reserve’s wildlife population to the 4highest density it has even been. We also have several exciting Big Five and other large game releases on the horizon including a breeding herd of elephant, a pod of hippo, and a new female cheetah, which is a critically endangered species.
Gondwana has introduced a large family herd of Cape Eland. In spite of its heavy physique, eland are remarkably agile. Being Africa’s largest antelope, bulls can weigh as much as 900kg. One of the most interesting characteristics of an Eland herd is that it includes a nursery for the calves. When threatened by predators, the herd forms a front with these large males taking the lead positions while the calves and pregnant females are protected behind the fortress of large males.
A family herd of twelve Gemsbok also known as oryx with their distinctive long dagger shaped horns and striking black and white facial markings have made Gondwana home in the last few weeks, in addition another 200 blue wildebeest are expected to arrive in the near future. These shaggy large herbivores are a favoured prey species by predators on Gondwana. It is expected that by introducing such a large blue wildebeest population, that pressure induced by predation will be suppressed through a reduced regulating effect. However, the equation wildebeest eats grass, lion eats wildebeest is not always as straight forward as expected.
The renegade cosmopolitan hippo bull recently introduced to the reserve has settled in well. He has learnt to deal with competition from other hippo bulls, and has learnt that lions and hippos do not sit around the same campfire. We have managed to find him some voluptuous ladies for some companionship. Two lovely ladies will be reintroduced at the end of May within his territory.