Tag Archives: Springbok

Dazed by Doggy!

I’m Amazed, Bowled over and Completely (had to put that in for the “C”) Dumbfounded by the kindness and generosity of Doggy’s Style.

I’m left Scratching My Head in Astonishment!

As I’m sure most of you already know, A Clown on Fire has been holding the most mind-boggling competition.  Doggy, the competition addict that he is, sent out his request for us to vote for him.  This I duly did.  It was mild mayhem in there and, I’m afraid, the fever took me.  I dutifully voted for Doggy but quite simply could not resist brazenly launching my own blog into the chaotic competition.  I begged, pleaded, bribed and cheated as best I could, desperate to usurp Doggy’s lead.  I’m afraid to say, I failed.

If anyone knows how to play a game well, it’s Doggy.  He beat me fair and square, guaranteeing himself a place on Le Clown’s infamous blogroll.

Doggy Won – Congratulations!  But that’s not where this seemingly simple story ends.  No, not when you have a celebrity like Doggy in the mix.

Mere moments after finding out he’d left me eating his dust, he sends me a message.  A message that makes us humble sole’s realise what true kindness and generosity means.

Doggy had arranged with Le Clown that I be given his hard won place on the blogroll!!!  Can you believe it?   How do you even begin to say “Thank You” with sufficient fervor for a gesture such as this.  I am, as I said, Dazed by Doggy.  Not only is he hilarious and utterly entertaining but it seems he is a saint as well.  I bow to your greatness dear Doggy.  The rescue animals of the world say “Thank You” and they mean it, from the bottom of their hearts.

Look closely – even the Baby Buck are smiling!

We Love You Doggy!  

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How to make LOTS OF BUCKS – The X-RATED Version

 

WARNING NUMBER 3563: As per my previous post, where this video was supposed to reveal itself, I take no responsibility for the utterly useless attempt made by an archaic cellular phone, to capture this incredible event.

 

WARNING NUMBER 3564: This video is X-Rated.  Starbuck, the buffoon / overly-proud Dad, was making baby’s first attempts at wobbly-legged standing, just slightly more arduous than necessary.  Being as new to this game as he was, there may be just the tiniest bit of swearing.  Once again, I denounce all liability.

 

NOTE (ONLY 1): Starbuck relented and allowed Mum to help baby get on its’ feet, as the photographs in the previous post prove.  I hope your eyes were good enough to be able to see anything.  Unfortunately, it’s all we’ve got from that encounter.

 

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Information Interlude – Making LOTS of BUCKS

We will take a short interval in our process of making Lots of Bucks, in order to provide what I feel to be pertinent information.

This photo has no purpose other than to give you something to look at.
OK – it’s actually so you can compare the Black, versus standard, Springbok.

As a fairly well established Non-Photographer, I take no responsibility for the shocking quality of the images below.  It is, however, the best I managed of a Springbok doing its’ Pronk (in Afrikaans this means to Boast or Show Off).  This is an extreme leap upwards, as high as 4m (13 ft) into the air, with an arched back, legs stiff and pointed downwards.  On landing, they immediately Pronk again (kind of looks like an Antelope on a trampoline – if you can get your imagination going that far.  In large herds, as one starts to Pronk, so do others, until you have the equivalent of a Springbok Mexican Wave.

                        THE SPRINGBOK PRONK – Photo, shocking.  Ability, incredible! (and this one’s still a baby!)

As we now all know, the locals thought me somewhat barmy.  Maybe they were right, considering that it eluded my mini-mind to bestow upon you the following:

Firstly, this all happened quite a few years ago.  Under no circumstances should anyone attempting to make either Big or Lots of Bucks, expect the process to be as quick as the previous blogs may have suggested.  As Misty Shores Chesapeakesone of my wonderful readers put it, we are seeing this all in something of a “time warp”. 

Secondly, it might be fairly useful if you knew what, in the universe, these animals actually are.  Well, I did say they were Springbok but, being a slight genetic variant, they are black, which is extremely unusual.  It might be easier if you saw one in its’ standard, everyday wear, with normal colouring.

SPRINGBOK – courtesy of Thomas Schoch off Wikimedia Commons site. (lets hope I don’t get sued for anything here – it wouldn’t really be worth it though, as I have nothing left for them to take).

The name Springbok comes from Dutch and Afrikaans with Spring = Jump and Bok = Antelope.

Thirdly, I figured it might be to my advantage, to give you a little insight into Caracal, before a group of quizzical-faced readers confront me.

CARACAL KITTEN – needed a baby picture somewhere for the Awww Factor.  Picture courtesy of Kristian Thy, off Wikimedia Commens (same addendum as previous photo re: sueing.  Basically, please don’t!  Thank you)

So, this adorable little thing becomes my Baby Thaba’s demise – hard to like it because of that but equally hard not to fall in love with it at the same time.

THE STUNNING FACE OF A CARACAL.
Courtesy of : {{Information |Description= Caracal or desert lynx (”Caracal caracal”). |Source=[http://www.flickr.com/photos/23566085@N00/216164029/ Caracal] |Date=August 15, 2006 at 11:19 |Author=[http://www.flickr.com/people/23566085@N00 € Van 3000] from belgium b

Notice the tufts of hair on the ears that I, rather cleverly for me, remembered to tell you about in my previous post.  I must be getting better at giving descriptions – this is good.  I am pleased.

THE FULL SIZE STRENGTH OF A CARACAL
This photo was taken in January 2007 by Nick and Melissa Baker in the Serengeti. Thanks go to Alex, our guide, and Green Footprint Adventures. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickandmel/419801669/

Now you can see the incredible strength of the Caracal.  Somehow, it becomes easier to understand how a cat managed to catch an antelope.  The males can weigh as much as 19kg (42lb).

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How To Make LOTS OF BUCKS!

Part 1 – Some sadness, some gladness.

Tremendous!  You have now successfully completed the mind boggling task of Acquiring Small Bucks and nurturing them into Big Bucks.  But why stop there?  If you can have Big Bucks, why can’t you have Lots of Bucks?  So, with the knowledge that “it takes bucks to make bucks” firmly implanted in our brains, we now progress forward.

Me? I’m Beautiful – check out my eyelashes – aren’t you jealous?

This is not to say that it is easy to make Bucks.  In fact, not only is it hard work but it often comes with a certain degree of loss and tragedy.  This is Africa.  Wild animals have perfected their survival needs.  One such animal is the Caracal (known as the Rooikat in Afrikaans, which, translated means Red Cat).  An extremely beautiful, fantastic creature, with long tufts of hair protruding from the tips of their ears.  It is similar to a Lynx (which may help you to picture it).

It is also unbelievably agile, catching a lot of prey in flight, by using its’ incredible ability to do the high-jump.  Unfortunately, much as I adore these animals, I have to accept that, with its’ instinct to hunt, it found one of my beautiful babies simply too enticing.  My sweet baby boy Thaba was, to my great dismay, caught by a Caracal.

I was devastated and found myself in a complete, all embracing depression for longer than I care to mention.  However, in truth, nature would have picked Thaba off from the herd, being the smallest, weakest and slowest.  The locals were keen to hunt down the Caracal and shoot it!  I remained amazed whilst they continued to believe in my insanity status.  The Caracal was merely doing what came naturally.  It needed food to survive and how could it possibly have known that Thaba was my delight.  It is part of natures’ circle and the price I had to pay for the experience that I was granted.

Moving on to the “Some Gladness” portion:

Starbuck, being the real man’s man, went immediately to work.  He ensured that the ladies of the group were “honored” with his attention and it was not long before we began to see a change.

Although I’m as old as Starbuck, see how much smaller my girly horns are.

Naledi (meaning “Star” in Setsotho) and Pasela (“Gift” in Setsotho), appeared to be gaining weight.  Now, we all understand that, as a woman ages, all too frequently a little midriff mass moves in.  But Naledi and Pasela are still sprightly young things.

There was only one reasonable explanation, they were pregnant!

Notice the definite tummy?!

And so starts our process of Making Lots of Bucks!

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How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 4

You’ve done it!  You now have Big Bucks!

Starbuck – stretching to reach the leaves from an Acacia Tree

Isn’t it good to be able to tell everyone you have Big Bucks?  Mostly, they are very impressed.  Some, of course, are jealous.  Few, understand that you can have Big Bucks and be broke.  Making Big Bucks will, in all likelihood, make anyone both fit and broke.

My name is Naledi, which means Star in Setsotho – my horns are daintier, because I’m a beautiful girl

Starbucks bum-butting routine became a frequent game.  With rather spectacular horns growing longer by the day, he proved quite formidable at this sport.  Now, most will know that South Africa’s Ruby team is called The Springboks.  You may even know that our soccer team is called Bafana Bafana.  Most Springbok are brown and cream / white in colour but my unique little menagerie were black.  With Starbucks’ growing desire to play games, we tried giving him a soccer ball.  He loved it!  He would head butt it.  He would put his head down and roll the ball up onto his curved horns and then flick it a huge distance, chasing it down thereafter for some more fun.  He slowly took on two names, one being Starbuck and the other, Bafana – a Black Springbok.

I’m a soccer playing Black Springbok

Sometimes, one has to wonder about the human race.  Due to their increasing horn superiority, we kept the Springbok in a large enclosure.  This was designed to protect the guests from the buck and, more importantly (sorry guests), the buck safe from predators.

We put a sign on the gate, clearly informing guests not to enter.  Some, however, thought they knew better and one early morning, one such guest had been spotted, inside the enclosure, receiving some hefty rear-end rammingReally?  Did you think we put up that sign because we were jealous that you would spend time with our babies?  On going outside, he had disentangled himself from Starbuck and bolted out the gate.  There was no point in saying anything.  He was gingerly walking around, rubbing his rump and looking like a guilty, despondent child.

Would you want to mess with those horns?

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How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 3

Part 3 – Your Bucks are beginning to grow!

Even though I’m Black, you can start to see the Springbok Stripe now

After the first few days, they began to trust me, walking up to take their drink from a bottle.  I’m sure “assistant” was extremely pleased to see the end of his daily buck beatings.  I still needed his help.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that you cannot hold four bottles out at one time (see, sometimes I’m not that slow).

A tiny White Star is appearing on my Forehead!

At the beginning, they had all looked exactly the same but I soon found I could tell the difference.  No-one else could but I could see mild differences in size, gait and, most importantly, personality.  Starbuck, as he became known, was the biggest of them – the one who had “allowed” himself to be caught for extra feeds.  Thaba, which means “rejoice” in Sesotho (one of our eleven official languages in this country!) was my little baby boy.  He wouldn’t have made it in the wild.  He was too small and had something wrong with his mouth.  When drinking, half the milk would slither down his face – real messy baby he was.  The two girls were somewhere in between the boys in size and behaved like true ladies.  They would drink politely and then move onto the lucern (another thing I found out I had to source in order to get them grazing).  Starbuck, being the biggest, boldest, naughtiest and greediest, would suck on his bottle until it created a vacuum.  Then he’d start knocking the others off their bottles to get more.  I guess men of all species are the same.  Sorry guys.

See my Little Horns starting to grow!

At one point, Starbuck became so engrossed in his bottle that, once finished, he latched onto my finger and started sucking that.  Incredible!  I have never experienced anything that soft and velvety.  A Springbok’s tongue is the most delightful thing on earth.  Their fur is spectacularly but there will never be anything like the tongue.  I highly recommend that everyone attempts to grow some bucks and, in the process, rudely stick your finger in their mouths.

I’m a Girl, so my Horns a smaller

I managed to get to touch and stroke them but only while feeding.  No bottle – No cuddle.  That was their motto.  Thaba did take to following me around, though.  I could say “let’s go for a walk” and he’d politely follow me wherever I chose to go.  Starbuck, being the tough-guy man, approached things differently.  He decided that bum head-butting was a far more exciting enterprise.  I quickly learnt to keep an eye on his whereabouts at all times.

How Silky is my Coat?

The marginally insane locals, thought I was completely nuts, going to all this trouble for what seemed to be a perfectly good meal.  They told me, with great authority, that it was two weeks bottle feeding, followed by forced weaning.  What?  Have you met a baby that get’s weaned after two weeks?  So, I did my own research and found out that 4 weeks was the standard.  I stuck to this and, blow me down (gently, please), the babies started weaning themselves at around the 4 week mark.  They started accepting fewer bottles during the day and started grazing more.  Guess what, nature kind of knows what it’s doing.  Let it take its’ course and things work out far better.

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Ready for Wordless Wednesday

Well, it’s Wednesday already in Australia and for most of my South African readers, they will only see this post tomorrow, so it will be Wednesday.  Therefore, after a “not so wordless” start, I thought I’d give you some photographs of baby Black Springbok and negate the need for you to have to read much.

Am I cute or what?!

That face needs kisses!

It’s so hard not to cuddle them!!!

Who said buck can’t smile? Might not be the best photograph but the expression is priceless.

a

And now – the opposite of a smile.

Whilst we’re on expressions – I’ll stick my tongue out at you!

I think I’m such a Big Boy

And I’m such a Tiny Little Girl

Knock-Kneed

I’ve got an itch

And now that itch has gone and moved backwards?!?!

Hope you enjoyed our little photographic journey.  We’ll continue on with Growing Your Small Bucks shortly.

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How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 2

Part 2 – Nurturing your newly acquired Bucks

Golly, I’m beautiful

Moving on to the very important step of Nurturing your newly found Small Bucks.  This is vital, remembering that you are going to need Big Bucks in order to make Lots of Bucks.

Do not forget, at this point, that we should have no, zero, zip knowledge of bucks.  For optimum fun, your knowledge should be confined to standard domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.

Oh – those ears!!

1- – Stare dim-wittedly at your 4 baby buck who, unlike any other animal you have dealt with, do not appear to want to be close to people.

2 – Let the realisation set in that, unlike dogs and cats who descend from hunters, these poor little creatures are, to all intents and purposes, natures’ fodder.  Their instinct is to run!

3- Although they are as cute as any baby could be, these little creatures are terrified.  You also have four of them, so they will bond with each other, not with you.

4 – Get on to practical issues.  These babies need to be fed but with what?  Call everyone you know.  Flatten the phone book.  I’d have called the President if I thought he’d have the right knowledge!

5 – Desert your babies to drive to the nearest town.  Surprise everyone who knows all too well that you do not have children, by buying up a range of baby bottles, sterilizer and all manner of other paraphernalia

Small towns love gossip, so it would be helpful if, at this point, you are in too much of a hurry to explain your motives.  This will keep the locals busy for a while.

6 – Begin what will become your daily routine, every couple of hours, for the next few weeks.

For your reference, so as to avoid unnecessary phone calls to world leaders, cow’s milk is not sufficiently rich for baby Springbok.  When a baby Springbok’s mom is off foraging, the baby awaits, lying low in the long Bushveld grass, with its’ ears held flat (to avoid being seen by predators).  Depending on the dangers the mother encounters, she may stay away for quite some time, avoiding drawing attention to her baby.  This may mean waiting for extended periods between feeds, thus necessitating a richer milk mixture.

Ears held flat to avoid detection in the bush

7 – Mixing egg yolks with cows’ milk provides a good natural alternative.  This, of course, leaves you with loads full of left over egg white – I hope you like meringues.

8 – Let the games begin!  In order to feed a baby, you need to catch a baby.  If this were a hungry puppy or kitten, you’d have no problem but these little critters are already fast enough to out run large African predators, so what chance do you figure I’d have?  They can, literally, leap over your head!  Fabulous!

9 – Call in the help of one of the farm staff who is good with animals.

We had constructed the enclosure to have a thatched roof section, surrounded on three sides with hay bales (to keep them warm) and an open, fenced area around that.  The back portion was narrow, so we cleverly started the process of me herding the buck there, where my unsuspecting assistant awaited their arrival, ready to catch one as it ran past.  Brilliant – this should work like a charm!

The buck come belting and pronking (that straight up jumping motion a Springbok makes), over assistants head.  Too his incredible credit, he managed to catch one and we quickly learnt our mistake.  These animals have been built to survive encounters with Africa’s wild hunters, all of which have greater strength, skill and speed than us lowly people.  One survival mechanisms is a kick beyond anything the Olympic athletes have managed to muster.  Poor assistant got a hammering!

And those spindly legs – how could they pack such a PUNCH!

10 – Confuse the small town locals by appearing in a generally disheveled state, rushing around to find the thickest, longest gloves available.  Again, avoid explaining your actions.  Remember, you have a duty to those around you and, if that is to provide them with good gossip conversation, then so be it.

11 – Return to farm.  Arm assistant with long armed gloves and restart the process of being beaten up by adorable looking babies.

12 – Again, to assistant’s credit, he proved to me phenomenal at catch the buck.  Once caught and I had a bottle in the mouth, the buck would lie perfectly still, sucking at a breathtaking speed.  With milk finished, they would instantly bold again.  I was delighted.  This was going well!

13 – Only after a few feeds did I start to see a pattern.  All four buck would race around the back, leaping and pronking over assistant.  Each time, one proved to be easy to catch.  Now it’s important to remember that they all look identical.  It suddenly dawned on me that one greedy little so-and-so was allowing himself to be caught and had flattened three full bottles.  The others had had nothing!

14 – Run aimlessly around the farm until you miraculously find some wool (not mine – I’ve never knitted a thing).  Find four different colours and start catching the buck to put different colour wool collars on each one.

15 – Break eggs, separate, mix in with milk, heat to required temperature and return to the babies.  Start the feeding frenzy again.  Find out that you were spot on!  One buck liked his food enough to be caught each time.  He looked mortified that we now kept letting him go.

16 – Finally finish the first of many feeding frenzies to take up your following days.

17 – Collapse in a heap but not before cleaning and sterilizing all the bottles, ready for the next run in with wild babies.

Part 3 will follow, as we continue our mad adventures and desperate attempts to grow our small bucks into big bucks.  Stay tuned!

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How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS!

Part 1 – Acquiring Small Bucks.  Never forget – it takes bucks to make bucks!

Yes, it is possible!  The following step by step instructions will guide you through both attain and convert Small Bucks into Big Bucks.

There is no quick way (well, legally, that is) to make Big Bucks.  I will, therefore, break this into a series, thus avoiding the popping out, crossed-eyed phenomenon generated by a reading overload.

1 – Buy a farm in Africa.

  • Don’t panic.  This should be inexpensive.  In fact, try to ensure it is as run down as possible.  No-one will understand what you are doing.  The more confused your friends are, the better the buy!

2 – Put some hot, sweaty work into building a Bush Lodge, including the installation of everything from plumbing to electricity, which should not have been in place upon purchasing the farm.

  • Remember, there is no such thing as a Quick Buck.  It takes time and hard work.
  • It is vital to have no prior knowledge or experience of either the hospitality industry or building of any nature.  Prior knowledge will diminish your experience.
  • Use only local, untrained labour to complete the tasks.  This helps to grow the area’s economy and create the optimum level of mayhem.
  • Your complete lack of knowledge will give your father much needed opportunities to laugh at your expense, such as finding out you are suffering from hot flushes.
  • Diagnosis of hot flushes is fairly easy.  Wait for the plumbing to be finished.  Test a toilet and watch, mesmerized, whilst hot steam comes pouring out.  Find the wayward non-plumber and have him connect cold, rather than hot water to your thrown.

3 – At this point, have the Tourism Grading Council popping in, unannounced, to grade the establishment (remember to have as many mad builders on site as possible).

4 – Find out that 4 orphaned baby Black (extremely rare) Springbok, are in desperate need of bottle-feeding and hand-raising.

5 – Increase your building frenzy to create a thatch cover and enclosure for the babies.  Get hay bales delivered by a large tractor, making sure that it drives across your new lawn, leaving tyre tracks and strewing around as much muck as possible.

6 – It is vital to have no prior experience with Springbok – black, baby or otherwise.  This will add to the general excitement of the moment.

7 – Have the baby buck arrive at the precise time that both the tractor and the grading council appear.  This will increase the pandemonium of your Buck Growing experience.

Small Bucks Acquired

Successful Acquisition of Small Bucks

Now that you have mastered the basics, wait for “Part 2” in which we will start you on the process of taking your newly acquired Small Bucks and convert them into healthy, fully grown, Big Bucks.

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