The last day in Queen Elizabeth NP was productive but exhausting. We started the day with a brief meeting with the Community Conservation Warden, Wilson Kagoro, and made arrangements for day trips for senior pupils from both Kasenyi Primary School and Equator Highway Primary School to have a day out. Forty children from each school will be picked up and brought to the park HQ where they will be fed, shown around, and given some conservation classes. The highlight of the trip will be the two-hour boat ride on the Kasinga channel, the same ride that we all took last Friday.
I dropped by Kasenyi Primary School to how the solar equipment was working. One DVD had already been shown to the kids, and Gorrit had prepared two meals with the solar oven. I asked her to pose outside her home with this useful piece of equiemt as I had managed to forget to take a pic the other day.
Then we set out to continue our research efforts with buffalo. This proved pretty frustrating and for four hours we were unable to get near enough any animals to dart one. However, the group traveling with me in the university Land Cruiser did see a very lame female lion with three half-grown cubs Both her left hind and right front legs were obviously hurting her and she would have had a hard time hunting, even with hundreds of kob around her. By the time we caught up with the rest of the team we had also found a sick buffalo.
We decided to try and examine the buffalo first, as the lioness was unlikely to move far. We did get one dart into her, but unfortunately it deflected of a wisp of grass and we were never able to get close enough again to do any more. Eventually we left her and returned to the lions.
It was not long before Dr. Ludwig Siefert had a dart in her and we were able to make a very detailed examination. This picture shows the small lesions on her gums and where she had recently lost a tooth in her lower jaw. She had obviously been in a fight.There were several bite wounds in her legs, and a claw on her rear leg had been torn off. The worst lesion was a deep penetrating bite mark low down on her right front leg. An hour later she had been weighed, her wounds had been cleaned up and she had been given a healthy dose of antibiotics. I took a bunch of pictures of the bite marks with my new cell phone, as well of a couple of short video clips of her being weighed, but I have not figured out how to download them on to this computer. Sorry ‘bout that, all I have is a pic of her getting a much needed does of fluids under the skin. An hour after that she was up and moving.
Next stop Lake Mburo National Park, but complete lack in Internet until about the 25th.