Monday, December 10, 2007

It was a busy weekend, and some more cards!

It was a typical weekend- full of laundry and grocery lists and other such mundane matters. I also made a few Christmas cards, decorated the front door, and just got a lot of both Christmas and "regular" chores done.

Here is the latest card I am making for Christmas. I'm kind of glad that the kit only includes 4 of this one- it seems to take forever.

The kids at school are still working hard on their cards for the Appalachia project. Here's a few examples of today's cards:

It was a very sad evening last night for those who follow the activities at the Djuma Reserve site through the WildEarth cams. A pride of lions, known as the Nkuhuma pride, consisting of 2 males, 9 females and 16 cubs, lived in the area. A group of 5 very violent (yes, even by "lion standards") male lions, known as the Mapogo, has been seen in the area recently. Last night the 5 lions attacked the males of the Nkuhuma, and killed the one known as Dozie.

This is not unexpected in the wild. The reason why so many are saddened is that what can happen next is predictable and sad. When a lion or a group of lions attempts to take over another pride, he/they will first kill the male lions of the pride. After that, he/they will then kill all the cubs. The female lions will try to protect their young and may be killed in the struggle. If any of the females survive, they will now belong to the new pride.

The Nkuhuma pride has been seen and watched on the WildEarth cameras now for many months. The two males lions are/were magnificent and beautiful to watch. The female lionesses are also quite beautiful, and wonderful to observe as they care for their pride. The cubs are all just WAY too cute and watching the cams over a period of time, we have also watched them grow. People all over the world have become very attached to the lions of the Nkuhuma pride.

The Mapogo have a bad reputation among the rangers and other safari people in this area in the south of Africa. They are especially violent, shocking many of those who have worked there for years when they even resorted to cannibalism, by eating a lion they killed- NOT typical lion behavior. Five males is also a larger than usual coalition of male lions, which also makes them especially dangerous. There is a lot of talk on the various Africa webcam boards about the long term implications of such a dangerous group and their potential impact on the whole balance of widelife in the area.

Sadly, the most likely outcome of all this is that the Mapogo will now kill the remaining adult male lion, then all the cubs of the Nkuhuma pride, and possibly all the females in the process. These marvelous animals that we have been watching and enjoying and learning to really appreciate, may soon all be gone from Djuma.

So, I will be checking the boards and listening to the drive tonight in hopes of hearing that the Nkuhuma have successfully evaded the Mapogo, even if it means they are gone from Djuma.

Time to get the clothes ready for tomorrow, then makemy hot chocolate for my Africam time.

14 days til Christmas!

1 comment:

Lee said...

The cards are wonderful!! I'm glad your students are having fun. I'm so sorry to hear about the "rogue" is sad, but now I'm glad I haven't tuned in for some time.......I don't want to see those adorable cubs and know what happens......I know it's nature's way.......but :(