Carnivore Update


Carnivore Update

Okonjima recently acquired 190 Springbok of which the first 90 Springbok were introduced into the secure 2000 ha area in order to monitor them and to see how well they adapt to our bushveld, as they originated from the Southern parts of Namibia, which is a semi-desert region. Once we were happy with how they adjusted to their new environment, we decided to de-bush and open up an additional area within the20 000ha Nature Reserve for the next heard to be released.

Springbok are very selective feeders. They browse in the dry season and predominantly graze after the rainy season when grasses spout green (Krugerpark, 2016). Springbok are found in the grasslands and semi-arid regions of southern Africa. During the breeding season females, their offspring and a dominant male are found in herds together and bachelor herds are formed by non-breeding males (Theanimalfiles, 2016).

These antelope used to migrate in huge herds consisting of over 1 million individuals known as a “trek” or “trekbokken”. Today most Springbok are confined to game reserves and privately owned land but in remote areas of Angola and Botswana groups of 1,500 individuals can still be seen (Theanimalfiles, 2016).

Since the introduction of an additional 100 Springbok into the 20 000ha Okonjima Nature Reserve, the cheetah’s have been held up close by.

The Springbok were released in the open area between the 2000ha and 20 000ha gate. Ever since then the siblings have not moved from the area and have already caught 3 Springbok.

The Motorbike boys have also remained in the area until last week, when they moved up the old district road and then turned North West towards the western fence line.

cheetah with springbok kill

The Springbok have proceeded to move into more open areas, where there is more visibility, however it seems the siblings may have followed them. The Siblings are doing well overall and have been seen at least every 3-4 days with full bellies or on a kill.

Bones, one of the cheetahs in the Okonjima Nature Reserve

Even Aprilia had a couple of kills during the last 2 weeks, of which one of them was a Springbok. She however still remains in the Poort area.

Time will tell how the Springbok will adapt within the park with different vegetation as well as the constant presence of predators around.

Dizzy has been up and down the old district road more to the North and is also doing well.

cheetah with springbok kill

JoJo and her cubs are doing well too, still remaining at the original den site.