The Lafupa Pride - here showing two of the three females we witnessed stalking a mixed herd of zebra and hartebeast. The lady in the back is likely pregnant, and didn't take part in the hunting activities, choosing to stay in the nice shade instead! This hunt was unsuccessful.
The lions are nearly invisible out here, with their coloration as well as their behavior. They can be bedded down in the grass, taking a siesta...and you can drive right up to them without a response. So if you decide you need to stop and take a pee, and you didn't detect them, you may regret it.
The 2012 Weddell seal science season for our crew is just about wrapped up, sadly enough. Our camp has been pulled off the ice, and we've been busy scurrying around, returning equipment and gear, cleaning and washing everything. We leave in 7 days! Aaack!
It has been an incredible season with a lot of valuable data collected by a solid crew. There are literally hundreds of people to thank for making this project a success...a substantial proportion of them working as support staff here on station. Nothing would be possible without their wonderful and friendly support. And I certainly can't forget to thank YOU (if you are a tax-paying American citizen). Because this project is completely funded by the National Science Foundation, YOU are paying for it.
This may be my last season here on the ice, and so I hope you have enjoyed some of my attempts to capture not only the project, but also the incredible scenery and majesty of this place. I may have a few more posts left i…
The challenge: pack almost 50 VHF collars in checked luggage along with all our personal items, staying under the required weight (50 lbs), and not getting arrested because we appear to be smuggling expensive items into the country to be sold! The line of collars in the far back are for wild dog and cheetah, the middle row collars for lions and hyenas, the front collars for wildebeest.
Many already know, but for those who don't, I successfully completed my Master's degree at Montana State University (what a relief!), and have accepted a position with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, where I'll be stationed in Kafue National Park studying most of the animals that are capable of eating me. I'm leaving May 19th, and will be in Zambia for approximately 7 months, returning in December-ish (with a quick return in Aug for my roommates', Aaron and Amber's, wedding!).
Stay tuned for more....