News 2017

Season Report 1 Dec 2016 - 30 Nov 2017
The most sighted leopard in 2017 was Lila with 137 sightings. In the beginning of this year, Lila gave birth to her first litter. Leopards usually give birth to one or two cubs per litter, very rarely to three cubs. When Lila showed her cubs for the first time, we were delighted to see that she was accompanied by three little ones. Sadly two of her cubs disappeared within the next two months, most likely due to infanticide. Lila and her remaining third cub provided special sightings and we were hoping that she’d be able to protect it from all the danger and challenges of the wild. Unfortunately the love of a mother is not always enough: The little cub was found dead in September 2017. We unfortunately can’t confirm under what circumstances the little cub died, but strongly believe that it fell victim to an infanticidal male leopard. Due to malfunctioning of her collar, Lila was re-collared in October 2017 and was found to be in excellent condition.

 flies on a cheetah are a problem

The Control of Cheetah Fly on Captive Carnivores
All captive carnivores at our Carnivore Care Centre were burdened with the Cheetah fly (Hippoboscus longipennis), which resulted in a drop in condition and erratic/aggressive behavior and required urgent investigation into long-term control of the problem. After looking at the flies’ life cycle, different options were considered to reduce the numbers, taking practicalities into consideration. The two options adopted were removing grass in holding camps, to interfere with the life cycle of the fly, and administering medication topically or orally. As there are no wild cat species-specific registered medicines available in Namibia, three commercial products (with varying treatment intervals) for the use in domesticated cats and dogs were used. Strict precautions were taken to ensure the well-being of the cats when using the medication.

AfriCat Annual Health Checks - 2017
This year the AfriCat Annual Health Check took place between 26 and 30 June, 2017. It was coordinated by Dr Adrian Tordiffe, Dr Gerhard Steenkamp and Dr Diethardt Rodenwoldt. They were assisted by Dr Roxanne Buck and Dr Gareth Zeiler, who were responsible for anaesthesia, and Dr Maria Geremek and student veterinarian Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk from Poland. A recently qualified vet, Dr Joel Alves, from Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria, who is currently working towards his Masters, also joined us from South Africa.

  AfriCat Information Centre

The Three Phases of AfriCat’s Carnivore Care & Information Centre
We’ve come a long way since afternoon tea with 'Chinga' on the lawn! From cheetah, lion and leopard rescue, care and release - TO rescue, rehabilitation, community support and research! From farmer support - TO 'Conservation Through Education'! We are committed to encouraging our youth and communities to ensure the survival of large carnivores, within a balanced ecosystem. Here at AfriCat, over the past two decades, the Rescue and Release Programme developed as a result of our relationship with the farming community. The 'Welfare and Carnivore Care Centre', in turn, was a by-product of the Rescue and Release Programme.


 herd of wilderbeest in the Okonjima Nature Reserve

Okonjima Lodge Game Count Information Summary Report: Game Count 11-13 October 2016
Some 38 years or longer ago conservationists already had a clear vision with the practicalities that can be encountered with Park Management and saw the necessity to perform game counts. In "Counting Animals" Norton-Griffith emphasizes: No form of wildlife management, whether it is the establishment of cropping or hunting quotas, the development of tourism or the demarcation of boundaries is possible without reliable information on the numbers, population dynamics and movements of the animals concerned. This account deals with many of the practical problems that are met with when designing and carrying out a wildlife census. (1)


 Okonjima Leopard

Season Report 2016 - 1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016
Nkozi was the most sighted male leopard during the year with 255 sightings. Even though he was occasionally spotted in his former ranges in the eastern part of the reserve, it seems as though he has shifted his hunting grounds mainly into the central-western parts. We believe this could be the result of high competition by other males in the area, although he now has to deal with younger challengers in his new ranges as well. However, exploitation of new areas has the advantage of new mating opportunities and Nkozi was seen mating regularly with Lila as well as Isaskia throughout the year.