Saturday, April 06, 2013

Egrets, ears and ewwwwww!

The last few days have been manic.  We are cleaning virtually the whole place as there is an inspection on Monday.  My main job has to been to scrub bird poop off walls surrounding the enclosures and a few pond scrubs too.  Its dirty smelly work, but somewhat satisfying to see the difference once each section is finished.

I am looking forward to Monday evening very much indeed!

I have also been feeling rotten the last couple of days and during the night I discovered I had another ear infection.  I am very unimpressed as this is the second one in just over a month.  Considering I don't remember having one in my adult years at all, then to have two like this is very frustrating!  I only have half a course of drugs as for some reason the Dr only prescribed that for me.  So I am hoping I can source another half course.  Cross fingers!
One of the night heron chicks on a fence int he pond

There are 2 night heron chicks who have fallen from their nest and are in the Siamese and Nile enclosures (side by side enclosures).  They've been there for several days now and I can't help but wonder what their fate will be.  They are probably not old enough to source their own food yet.  They drink from the crocodile ponds but so far the crocs have left them alone.  They can't fly yet either so I suspect it won't end well…  Poor little things.

A night heron

An egret at sunset

Egret

Egret egg fallen from a tree (hatched - egg is empty)
Unfortunately when you have a crocodile park and a nesting zone in the trees above, there are often sad tales of untimely endings.  Both night herons and egrets nest here.  It is an amazing sight to watch them building nests and feeding young.  The noise is incredible, especially when the macaques try to raid the nests!  The birds all start to 'scream' and they dive bomb the monkeys.  Sometimes the birds win and sometimes not.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Snakes!

Today I got up at 5.30 am and took walk with a couple of local snake hunters.  They are approved by the powers that be to catch snakes and although I know very little about it, they apparently collect venom for anti venom.  They are licensed and have a strict protocol to follow - the big one is that they never kill the snakes.  They are captured and then released.  They are very protective of the snakes and go out of their way to ensure they live safely in the community.

We were out for about an hour this morning before we came across our first snake.  It was a very good introduction for me…
A baby Olive Keelback


We then walked another hour and a half or so before we came across our second snake.  And wow!  What a stunner!  This is one of India's four most venomous snakes and this was a beautiful example.

Spectacled Cobra in it's nest


One of the guides
Carrying it to somewhere safe to let go
The 'spectacles' that it takes it's name from

We let this big one go in a different location to where it was caught simply because there were a few local men watching as they caught it and the usual reaction to a snake in their field or surrounds is to kill it.  So it was carried some distance until we had no followers and in a quiet spot it was let go.

So even though we only saw 2 snakes, they were both incredible in their own ways.  I loved holding the little one.  It seemed quite calm and didn't struggle or complain at all, although I'm sure it was stressed to the max.  We let it go back where we found it and it went off like a robbers dog.  Faster then I could say 'good bye snake!'

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jaws III, a very big saltie

Jaws is the star attraction at MCBT and people come on Sunday to see him get fed.  He's about 17 feet long and chunky.  He doesn't venture out of his water that often when people are around, but when he does, he's very impressive.  Having seen Lolong last year and at 21 feet, he's hard to beat in terms of impressive, but Jaws III is pretty cool.

His favourite person feeds him while Colin Stevenson does a talk about Jaws III and crocodilians in general.  Jaws gets to eat lots of yummy meaty stuff after an obligatory walk around to show his impressive size.