Continuing to accompany Eric with his mission to capture 20 nyala, I went out with him the next day while it was still light out. Although we had some excitement, we were unsuccessful in capture. Driving around the park, we searched for nyala. Of course, I was only interested in finding small females. The males are much larger and it was hard enough lifting and holding small females on my lap. Sure enough we found a grouping and Eric darted a female nyala. We were off to find her. Within 5 minutes, Eric spotted her, and, although we were 100 yards away, he knew something was wrong. He rushed to her. As I followed, I saw that she had a large gash on her back side. She was alive though. As Eric lifted her head (remember their heads must stay up so that they do not choke on their vomit), I began to scream, as I saw blood squirting from her neck. Eric exclaimed that her neck was broken and began to point out the leopard bite on her neck as she had been attacked in her stuper. The attack must have happened within a minute before Eric spotted her. As Eric begins to give me a lesson of anatomy and the workings of the attack, I explain that this cat must be watching us play with its kill. It must be close perhaps in a tree right above us. I did not want to piss it off so strongly urged Eric to get me out of there. And, we were off. And we left the poor little nyala to be dragged into the trees for dinner.
Although I was nearly done with this new career of capturing huntress, I went out once more. We were unsuccessful once again (I can't say I was all that upset by our lack of seeing any nyala....most scared off by the leopards I am sure) but did have another little wildlife adventure.
I feel very blessed to have been able to have this experience. It is an experience that most South Africans have not had the opportunity to have much less a New Yorker.
About a week after the capture missions, I moved on from South Africa and began a three month journey north, heading to Kenya. I truly enjoyed my time in South Africa. And yearn to return sometime in the not too distant future.
I wish you all safe travels.
- Kaye Perron
Kaye has been traveling the world since her teens. Starting as an exchange student in Japan, she spent her twenties traveling throughout Europe. Her appetite for the exotic led her to less developed nations throughout Central & South America, where she became fluent in Spanish. Her passion for understanding other cultures led her on a three month adventure through Africa this past winter as a sole female on many a dusty road, with a backpack, a bus tickets and her tent. Kaye is also an entrepreneur and Marketing Director at OZNY Group