Just like an Italian football player, the rains have fallen consistently since the onset of 2017. The bush has transformed in front of our eyes into a lush green paradise full of life and energy. It is incredible to see how nature thrives during times such as these.
Grass cover has increased significantly and in some places has begun to spread seed. this is very good news because after water, grass is our next most precious resource on which the animals rely so dearly. The impala in particular have begun to lamb, along with many other species, and the bush is alive with new life. The contrasts between greens and blues have taken over from what was dull browns and grays and most things seem to be in a happier place. Most things.
2016 was a greatly successful year with regards to the anti-poaching operations at Sabie Game Park. We lost minimal rhino and managed to make a healthy amount of arrests. The first two weeks of 2017, however, has seen the same amount of rhino poached as the whole of 2016.
There has been a change in the winds and poaching activity has increased as steadily as the rains have. The wet weather does affect movement throughout the reserve and our efforts are somewhat hampered but this poaching game is not simply a game of cat and mouse. That is to say, we do not wait for poachers to enter the reserve before we become mobilised. Our efforts stretch beyond the reaches of the reserve boundary through community involvement and it is at the community front where trust is gained and where the game is ultimately won or lost.
Our tactics here at Sabie Game Park have not changed in how we deal with the local communities, unfortunately a poacher does not work on trust. Opportunity and greed is the name of the game out here.
Nobody said this was ever going to be easy, we’ve taken the first knock of the year. But as Rocky Balboa once said, “Life’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”