Africa Talk at Black Earth Library

Just a quick post to let locals know that I'll be giving a talk on December 1st at the Black Earth Library on my animal-behavior focused trips to Africa. I'll combine the best of my and Jim's photographs and talk about the adventures of safaris in Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Rwanda. We'll talk about radio-collaring "Jones," the breeding male of an African Wild Dog pack, sitting with gorillas in Rwanda and the impact of the current drought on the people and animals of East Africa. If you're in the area, I hope you can come! 7 pm, December 1st, 2009 Black Earth Library, 1210 Mills Street, Black Earth, WI 608 767-2563, Ext. 3 If you can make it, come up and say hi. Here's my favorite photograph from the trip we took in August, on the Masai Mara. Read More

Lions chase off vultures

Watched adult female and two subadult cubs (3-4 yrs? still some spots on legs) chase vultures off a recent zebra kill. Elephants coming in out of the hills to feed in the amboseli swamps, we'll see more of them later today. Am meeting with camp naturalist to learn more... saw an animal that looked exactly like an African Wild Cat.... which is pretty much exactly like a tabby house cat.  How tell difference? At night the zebra and antelope come right up to the veranda. Have to watch out for vervets, who try to steal the sugar off your table and dash in your room. Yesterday we caught one on our luggage, just starting to unzip it. And yes, we've seen lots and lots of robin egg blue testicles (on the vervets, honest.  they even have a penile display that zoologists patriotically call the "Red Read More

Pride of 9 Lions!

Here we are in Amboseli. 9 pm, long day, ending with dinner watching gazelles, zebra and wildebeest walking past the dining room. went on game drive in evening, found pride of 9 lions:2 black maned males, 2 cubs and 5 females. some of us saw them very closely, my van not right next to the van, but still amazing. cubs playing on top of mom, males looking bored and regal. all getting ready for nightly hunt. Is just as wonderful as you would hope. People so kind, country astounding--vast and huge and full of contrasts. Dry sand dirt and electric red robes of  Maasai. Is sadness too--terrible drought causing suffering to people and animals alike. Maize crop has failed for people. Grass gone for grazers, so hippos and zebra suffering terribly. Browsers like giraffe and Kudu antelop doing much Read More

Come to Africa with Me

I'm leading another safari in Kenya and Botswana this August. Wanna come? It probably will be my last. The first time I went to Africa to lead an animal-behavior-focused safari, I cautioned the participants the day we arrived that we weren't going to see what we usually see on a nature special on television. "What you see on a nature special is the result of hours and hours and hours of long, boring observations, while waiting to capture the excitement and beauty and drama that eventually will be edited down to a series of amazing sequences. We'd be wise to have our expectations be realistic: we'll see some wonderful animals and some interesting behavior, but it will be far cry from what you see on TV." Boy was I wrong. I mean, totally wrong. I mean, totally, completely and utterly Read More