Written by Pete Thorpe
We are now in the peak of the impala rutting season at Londolozi. The air is filled with sounds of male impala snorting, alarming and making strange growl-like noises. This is all in an effort to herd ewes into and rival males away from these territories. By doing so, impala rams are able to mate and ensure their genes are passed on to future generations.
Unfortunately, many of these rutting rams become so distracted by their elaborate behaviour that most kills at this time of year tend to be impala rams. In addition, some physical disputes between rams become so serious that one challenger can be fatally injured. It was one of these rams – killed in a territorial fight – that was recently discovered by Londolozi guides. We decided to put a motion sensor camera trap in position to reveal what animals would visit the carcass. The images provide some interesting results! I hope you find them as interesting as we did!
Bateleur eagles are said to be the first to arrive at kills. This was proven here as this juvenile bateleur is shown to arrive around mid-day. Interestingly, the eagle feeds on the eyes of the impala as it is unable to break through the hide.
The second to arrive at the impala was a tawny eagle. These eagles are also said to be good indicators as to the location of a carcass as they have incredible eyesight and like bateleurs, are often the first species at a kill.
In the constant fight to reproduce and survive, some individuals will lose their lives. However, the loss of one life provides vital sustenance to many others, hence the beautiful cycle of life continues in this cathedral of the wild.