BEAUTY of NATURE-Self Catering Accomodation Marloth Park

UBUHLE BEMVELO - Get back to nature - beautifully

HELLO LION

HELLO LION!

On Wednesday 19 October 2011, Louise Otto, a resident in Marloth Park, and her helper, walked out of the house they had just cleaned – No. 520 Crocodile Road, when to their surprise, a big male lion jumped up with a growl and disappeared round the house. They both thought they were seeing things!

However, from the enclosed lapa area they confirmed that they were not just tired, they had in fact seen a lion, which then lay down in the grass some 60m from the lapa. Louise contacted our Nkomazi Municipality Senior Game Ranger, Elfas Mahori who assessed the situation and unfortunately the lion was very thin and was limping. He contacted the Mpumalanga Parks Board.

The ‘Marloth Parkers’ who gathered there to see ‘our’ lion waited quietly as it was extremely important that the lion was not disturbed as it would have gone into the thick bush of the nearby parklands and would have been very difficult and dangerous to track and dart.


Riaan, Dr Ferreira du Plessis, the vet and his assistant came to Marloth Park from Nelspruit. The lion was successfully darted from the vehicle and loaded.

Sadly, we could not allow this lion to remain in Marloth Park as he was injured and suffering from TB and therefore would be extremely dangerous to humans.


The lion was a ‘visitor’ from the Kruger National Park. The ‘Big 5’ animals – Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Buffalo and Rhinos, fall under the control of Mpumalanga Parks Board and do not ‘belong’ to Marloth Park.

However, we do enjoy the odd visit from our Big 5 neighbours.

So Marloth Parkers and visitors to Marloth Park, always be aware of the fact that you are in the bush and live with wild animals! Enjoy the beautiful nature we are privileged to share…..but do stay alert as there is sometimes danger near!

Joce Gordon
Honorary Ranger

DANGEROUS AND DEADLY VISITORS

By now all visitors should be aware that there are snakes in the park and that they are dangerous. Most snakes however will ignore humans and if you are alert and look out for snakes you will be able to avoid any nasty confrontation.

However some people just do not learn. The park is NOT secure from the Kruger National Park and dangerous animals can get into the park.

Lion in Marloth!

The Lost Lion of Marloth Park.

It was found on Tuesday morning 3 Jan 2012 by Stuart and Barbara Long wandering up and down the fence on the path to the Henk van Rooyen bird hide. It’s pride of about 6 Lions was on the Kruger side of the fence anxiously watching it. When Stuart approached, the pride moved away, but kept coming back to the fence. They went to warn the campers in the camp site, and this is when it managed to ‘dive’ through the fence, to the delight of it’s siblings.
Many warnings are given about the fact that we live in a conservancy where one can come face to face with predators at any-time whereas it is a privilege to see them during the daylight hours when evasive action can be taken. People particularly caretakers, gardeners, building labourers and their friends still walk around a night and when they get attacked it’s the lions etc. that have to be removed or destroyed and not the people.

So people AGAIN -
“Do Not Walk Around at Night”

 

SEPTEMBER 30, 2008

A leopard, later found to be ill with mange and mouth disease, attacked an elderly couple as they approached their house in Marloth Park. The locals seem convinced the leopard was lying on the front lawn and was prodded by the first victim, but the lesson is IF YOU SEE A DANGEROUS ANIMAL GET AWAY! There are NO PETS or tame lion or leopard in Marloth Park. You are a meal on the food chain.

December 12, 1999

Burglar caught and brought to trial by lions.

An unknown man was devoured by a lions in Marloth Park, South Africa. The lions only left his head, one shoe with his foot still in it, a baseball cap and a stolen solar panel from a nearby house. It seems that this thief got an early punishment.

The lions left so little leftovers that the person could not be identified but he might have been an illegal immigrant from Mozambique who was burglarising this area and unfortunately got caught by the lions instead of the police.

The provincial government responded by killing three lions that were suspected of being man-eaters in Marloth Park. Residents of the expensive thatched vacation homes in Marloth Park were outraged by the killings of the lions. They feel that the lions which are in Lionspruit are not the culprits, but stray lion entering from the Kruger Park are the perpetrators of the attacks said the chairman of the town council.

What the residents and visitors don’t always realize is the threat they face from lions in their area. Once an animal has killed a human and eaten it, the chances they will hunt humans again get bigger. The workers on nearby farms are mostly poor and travel on bikes and by foot through the lion territory to reach the nearest grocery store which makes them vulnerable to lion attacks. Visitors also enjoy walking along the fences that border the Kruger Park.

This was the fifth time in a year that lions attacked humans in Marloth Park. But it was the first fatal attack since the town was created in 1977 for vacation homes.

Killings by lions are not rare around Kruger park that borders the Marloth Park. Every few months, Kruger rangers find the remains of Mozambican job-seekers that attempted to cross the park illegally so they don’t run into border patrols. Lion attacks outside Kruger Park are less common.

 

Feeding the Animals

Marloth Wildlife Fund November 2009 Newsletter

Game Feeding

What our wildlife may eat:

Lucerne

Hay

Game pellets

Available from Co-Op in Malalane and Komatipoort

Pumpkins

Carrots

Bananas

Apples

Cabbage

Pawpaws

Cut up into small pieces and only in small quantities

What our wildlife may not eat :

Bread or  Maize} This will KILL our wildlife.

Their systems cannot digest this. It causes colic and DEATH.

 

Extracts from the Marloth Wildlife Fund Newsletter

The Giraffe - Part 1

Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Average shoulder height: Males - 4m; Females - 3.5m.
Weight: Males - 1200kg; Females - 800kg.
Gestation period: 457 days
Life expectancy: 20 - 30 yrs

 

The giraffe is Africa's tallest mammal, reaching full heights of more than 5m. The attractive marking is made up of irregular patches, in varying shades of brown, on a cream or buff background.

 

Males are larger and darker than females, have thicker horns and have a lump on the forehead. The horn tips are bald in males and old females while hairy in younger females.

 

Above information from The Ultimate Field Guide and other African mammal field guides.  

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Marloth Park Honorary Rangers

"The Objective of the Honorary Rangers is to promote an awareness of Nature Conservation and the Environment through education and other activities." 

 

Membership is open to all Property Owners over 21 years of age. Honorary Rangers act at all times in the interests of the community in an advisory and educational capacity and in accordance with the Laws, By-laws and regulations of the Municipality and the Honorary Rangers Code of Conduct. When in Uniform an Honorary Ranger is an approved Municipal representative and must be treated as such by members of the public! It is expected of every Honorary Ranger that they make a positive contribution towards the upkeep of the Ordinance of Nature Conservation (Act 12 of 1983) and the Ordinance of Marloth Park - both in letter and in spirit.

 

As we are not Municipally funded we rely entirely on public support and donations in order to finance the various activities. Our bi-monthly Newsletters are produced in order to keep people far away informed as to what is happening in Marloth Park and our various activities and projects are all aimed at the well-being and protection of the flora and fauna of Marloth Park!

 

Marloth Park very desperately needs people who care to actually do something about poaching, illegal pets, bush encroachment, litter, animal injuries/sickness, alien vegetation, illegal squatters, provision of water for animals, removal of plants/wood, etc. There are unfortunately many residents and visitors who do not adhere to what is right and good for Marloth Park and these people need to be stopped. We also undertake positive projects such as the supply and fitment of Benches along the river walkways, repairs to pumps, etc, alien vegetation removal and general patrolling and informing of the public through Gate Duties and brochures, etc. 

 

We are a small band of volunteers always looking for your support and backing in our fight to keep Marloth Park the Paradise that we all want it to remain so please join us in the fight and actively support our projects and initiatives in the interests of all who care about Marloth Park!

 

Visit our website at : www.marlothparkhonoraryrangers.co.za

News Letter August 2009

EXTRACTED FROM THE Honorary Rangers newsletter 

Some caring property owners have started the Marloth Wildlife fund and are in the process of obtaining non-profit organization status in order to start canvassing for funds and to obtain donations for our wildlife needs. A special bank account has been set up and all willing sponsors and donars are invited to contact us for more information on this fantastic project. There is much that needs doing here and every contribution helps!

Please support the various community-based organizations in trying to get everyone to adhere to all the applicable rules and regulations. If it is worth having it is worth fighting for! Marloth Park certainly is!

ANIMALS of Marloth Park

The following pages contain a synopsis of the animals to be found in Marloth Park.

Giraffe (Afr. Kameelperd) 

 SIZE: Height to top of head (m) 5 m, (f) 4,5 m; mass (m) 1 200 kg, (f) 800 kg.
COLOUR: Well-defined, irregularly shaped patches varying from fawn to dark brown, patterned on a paler background that shades to white on the lower legs. Colouring darkens with age; varies widely geographically.
SPEED: 50 km/hr
GESTATION PERIOD: 14 -15 months
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 28 years
MOST LIKE: Unlike any other animal.
HABITAT: From sparsely wooded scrubland to thickly over-grown bush country, especially where there are acacia and other thorn trees to provide the giraffe's staple diet of leaves, and to provide camouflage.

Social bonds are not strongly developed, and herd structure seems to be loose, made up mainly of females and young, although mixed herds and bachelor herds are also found. There is apparently no consistency in the ratio of males to females in a herd, and herds rarely consist of the same individuals for more than a few days.

They do not defend a territory, and have fairly large home ranges. A newborn giraffe can weigh in at some 100 kg. The calves lie hidden in a resting area, and when slightly older often form small nursery herds guarded by one or two females. Young calves are playful, and run together kicking up their legs. Mortality amongst giraffe calves is high, and may reach 70 % in some areas.

Nature's skyscraper, the Giraffe is the world's tallest animal. Its carotid artery and jugular vein, running down the long neck from head to heart, are equipped with special valves to keep the blood from alternately flooding and evacuating the brain as the head is raised, or lowered to drink water.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/giraffe.html

Burchells Zebra (Afr. Bontsebra)

SIZE: Average shoulder height 1,36 m; mass (m) 313 kg, (f) 300 kg.
COLOUR: Whitish or cream coat with black stripes which continue under the belly. Yellow or grey 'shadow stripes' between the black markings on the hindquarters.
GESTATION PERIOD: 12 months
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 35 years
MOST LIKE: The Cape Mountain Zebra, but the latter lacks the shadow stripes. Burchell's zebra is bigger than the mountain zebra and the black stripes on its head and body are generally broader and fewer. The stripes reach right around the body, and only on the outside of the legs.
HABITAT: Open, grassy plains or lightly-wooded bushveld, open scrub and grassland, near water.

 

Timid and restless - they invariably bolt from a water hole after drinking - Burchell's zebra are also noisy and very excitable. Their piercing whinny kwa-ha! kwa-ha! is identical to that of the now-extinct quagga. Under attack from predators, males will compromise their own safety as they courageously take a protective rearguard position while the rest of the group flees. In very large herds stallions will also form a defensive line along the flanks. The Burchell's habit of keeping close to herds of grazing wildebeest is probably not coincidental: this strategy increases its chances of survival, as most predators prefer eating wildebeest. You may also see zebras fraternising with other species of sociable antelope and ostrich. Zebra stallions and their mates are fiercely protective of their young: in average breeding herds (small family groups) of 3 -7 animals, the stallion and his mares will use bared teeth and flailing hooves to attack and maul threatening lions and hyaenas. Young or surplus stallions form bachelor herds. A single foal is born.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/common_mammals.htm

Blue Wildebeest (Afr. Blouwildebees)

SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 1,5 m (f) 1,35 m; mass (m) 250 kg, (f) 180 kg. Both sexes have horns.

COLOUR: Greyish brown, appearing slate blue in certain light, with darker vertical stripes on neck and flanks. Black, erect mane and horselike tails.
GESTATION PERIOD: 8.5 months
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 20 years
RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 83 cm
MOST LIKE: The Black Wildebeest, which is shorter and lighter than the blue wildebeest; the former has a yellowish-white tail that almost reaches the ground.
HABITAT: Open savanna, woodland with short grass; open grass plains. Water essential

These clumsy clowns of the wild, with their humped shoulders, sloping backs and rocking-horse gait may justifiably snort and grunt in alarm, toss their massive heads about nervously and search the air for scents of predators: being the favourite prey of lions they have to be ever on the alert. They are gregarious, and occur in herds of 20 to 30 individuals; they may also form much larger herds numbering thousands. Like the black wildebeest, their social organization consists of territorial males, female herds, and bachelor groups. On their massive migrations, the younger, non-territorial bulls travel at the perimeter of the herd, often relying on the timidity of accompanying zebra for an early warning if predators are about. Exceptionally inquisitive, blue wildebeest often stand and stare at an intruder, before suddenly whirling round and galloping off. Blue wildebeest are tough and although normally timid, will fight ferociously when cornered. A single calf is born, usually between December and January. The young stay close to their mothers, who will suckle only their own calf.

 

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/wildebeest_blue.html 

Impala (Afr. Rooibok)

SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 0,9 m, (f) 0,8 m; mass (m) 50 kg, (f) 40 kg. Only males have the lyre-shaped horns.

COLOUR: Shining reddish brown coat, with clear division to fawn on the flanks turning paler to pure-white undersides. White patch on throat. Bushy tail, with white underside.
GESTATION PERIOD: 6 months

RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 70 cm
MOST LIKE: Springbok, but lack the latter's dark brown flank stripe separating upperparts from underparts.
HABITAT: Lightly wooded or bushed country close to water.

 Impala are gregarious, and usually form herds of 6 - 20, or, they may form herds of several hundred, especially in winter. During the mating season from January to May intense rivalry builds up between males, and, with loud snorts and grunts, they will resort to threatening displays, horn-thrusting, and, occasionally, fatal duels with each other. Those males that are not old enough to defend territories form bachelor herds. Single young are born, usually in early summer: all of the impala young are born within a period of a few weeks, the timing varying with the locality.

Calves are able to join their mothers in the herd within two days of birth, which favours their chances of eluding predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and hyaenas.
Impala are the most common antelope in the Kruger National Park, and are found in large herds, particularly south of the Sabie River.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/common_mammals.htm

Warthog (Afr. Vlakvark)

SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 70 cm, (f) 60 cm; mass (m) 100 kg, (f) 70 kg.
COLOUR: Dull grey, with smooth skin sparsely covered by dark bristles. A mane of grey, brown or yellowish hair runs from back of head to base of tail, which ends in a blackish tuft.
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 20 years
RECORD LENGTH OF UPPER TUSK: 61 cm
SPEED: 30 - 50 km/hr
MOST LIKE: The Bushpig, which is about the same size, but lighter. The warthog's eyes are set higher, and its ears don't have the bushpig's long tuft of hair. The warthog runs with its tail up, the bushpig with its tail down. The warthog has characteristic facial 'warts', and is often associated with vleis and open grassland.
HABITAT: Open grassland, often near water, avoiding thick bush or forest.

 

Warthogs respond to the warning calls of other mammals and birds, particularly the oxpeckers which often search them for ticks, as they are short-sighted and short-legged. They usually use abandoned aardvark burrows as their shelters, after enlarging and modifying them, and line them with grass before giving birth. They will also use shallower aardvark holes as temporary shelters. When running for shelter, young warthogs will scamper into their burrow head first, but adults do a remarkable about-turn at the entrance, usually accompanied by a cloud of dust, and reverse in, so as to present their formidable tusks to an attacker. Family groups, numbering between five and ten, avoid other warthogs that may stray into their home ground, and maintain group contact with soft grunts. The female will drive off the offspring from her previous litter just before giving birth to a new litter: if she loses a number of the new litter, the group may be re-united, particularly her female offspring.

Common Duiker (Afr. Grys Duiker)

SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 50 cm, (f) 52 cm, mass (m) 18 kg, (f) 21 kg. Only the males have horns.
COLOUR: A grey colour throughout, except for white underparts. Front of forelegs are dark brown and dark line runs from forehead down to the nostrils.
GESTATION PERIOD: 4 months
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 9 years
RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 18 cm
MOST LIKE: The Steenbok, but although they are of similar height, the common duiker is comparatively heavier. Its greyish coat and whitish underparts are easily distinguished from the orange-brown upperparts and pure white underparts of the more lightly built steenbok.
HABITAT: Bush country.

 

The Common Duiker (also known as the Grey Duiker) is a small antelope, and has a varied diet: it feeds on a variety of leaves, seeds, flowers, fruits and twigs, digs for roots and tubers, nibbles on bark, and is known to capture and eat a variety of young birds.

It is also preyed on by a variety of enemies, from lions to large owls. The duiker is active in the late afternoon or after dark, and it roams singly or in pairs, whisking its tail while roaming.

The male duiker stakes out his territory using a secretion from the scent glands below the front corners of the eyes, and actively defends this territory. Duikers derive their name from the Afrikaans word 'duik' which means to dive, as they have a habit of 'diving' into the bush when disturbed. Usually a single lamb is born.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/common_mammals.htm

Kudu (Afr. Koedoe)

SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 1,45 m, (f) 1,25 m; mass (m) 250 kg, (f) 200 kg.
COLOUR: Greyish fawn, with narrow, vertical white stripes on sides and rump, a short ridge of white hair along the centre of the back, and a white chevron between the eyes. Males have a brown and white fringe from throat to base of neck.
MOST LIKE: Nyala, but kudu male's horns more spiralled and there is no heavy fringe of hair hanging below the belly.
HABITAT: Savanna woodland or scrub, especially close to water and rocky terrain.

Kudu are considered by many to be the most attractive of the southern African antelope: they are usually fawn-grey, with a series of unevenly spaced white transverse stripes across their backs.

 

The call of the kudu, the loudest of any antelope, is a penetrating hoarse bark. When alarmed, kudu run away, lifting their tails over their rumps and fanning out the white undersurface as a warning signal to others. Despite their incredible horns, which are known to reach a length of 1,8 m, the kudu is a gentle animal, preferring flight to fight.

However, enraged kudu bulls do engage in fierce combat, sometimes accidentally killing each other by locking their horns together. They are gregarious, although the herds they form are very small: usually only about four animals, although they may number up to twelve. Small bachelor herds are also found, as well as solitary males. A single calf is born, usually in summer, and is hidden by its mother in tall grass for two to three months, until it is strong enough to follow the herd. Female kudu usually live up to 14 or 15 years; males live up to 6 or 7 years.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/common_mammals.htm

Steenbok

SIZE: Shoulder height 52 cm, mass 11 kg. Only the ram has horns, usually 9 cm in length.
COLOUR: It varies from a reddish-brown to a lighter reddish-fawn. A dark patch is found above the nose and a dark marking on the forehead. The throat, eyebrows, abdomen, underside of tail and insides of legs are white. The upperside of the tail is reddish-fawn.
RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 18 cm
GESTATION PERIOD: 7 months
MOST LIKE: The Oribi, but smaller, with longer ears, a shorter neck and with a reddish-fawn upper surface to its tail (black in the oribi).
HABITAT: It prefers flat, open country, grassy or lightly wooded, and avoids mountain slopes and desert areas. Cover is essential

 

Steenbok are mixed feeders, preferring a rich diet of easily digestible forbs and grasses. When frightened it lies down quietly in the grass, but if disturbed it zig-zags through the undergrowth with its head forward. Occasionally it may hide in an aardvark hole. The steenbok has many enemies, including jackals, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, martial eagles and pythons. When the steenbok is distressed it emits pitiful screams.

Steenbok establish well-defined but overlapping territories, which both sexes will defend against trespassers, and mark their territory using glands between the hooves on the front and back feet, a gland between the two halves of the lower jaw, and with glands just in front of the eyes. Steenbok are normally solitary, except when a mother is with her young or when a male and female are courting. A single calf (rarely twins) is born at any time of year.

http://www.wildlifesafari.info/common_mammals.htm

Chacma Baboon (Afr. Bobbejaan)

The Chacma baboon is found in southern Africa, ranging from South Africa north to Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique. Size and color vary within that range. The Cape Chacma (P. ursinus ursinus) from southern South Africa is a large, heavy, dark brown baboon with black feet. Another subspecies, the Gray-footed Chacma (P. u. griseipes), is present from northern South Africa to southern Zambia. It is slightly smaller than the Cape Chacma, lighter in color and build, and has gray feet. The Ruacana Chacma (P. u. ruacana) is found in Namibia and southern Angola, and generally appears to be a smaller, less darkly colored version of the Cape Chacma.

Baboons grooming

Behaviour

Chacmas usually live in social groups composed of multiple adult males, adult females, and their offspring. Occasionally, however, very small groups form that include only a single adult male and several adult females. Chacma troops are characterized by a dominance hierarchy. Female ranking within the troop is inherited through the mother and remains quite fixed, while male ranking is often in flux, especially when the dominant male is replaced. Chacmas are unusual among baboons in that neither males nor females form strong relationships with members of the same sex. Instead, the strongest social bonds are often between unrelated adult males and females. Infanticide is also common compared to other baboons species, as newly dominant males will often attempt to kill young baboons sired by the previously dominant male. Baboon troops possess a complex group behavior and communicate by means of body attitudes, facial expressions, vocalisations and touch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chacma_Baboon

Vervet Monkey (Afr. Blou-Aap)

The vervet monkey has a black face with a white fringe of hair, while the overall body colour is mostly grizzled-grey. The males of all species have a pale blue scrotum and a red penis. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, the males are larger in weight and body length. Adult males weigh between 3.9 and 8.0 kilograms (8.6 and 18 lb), averaging 5.5 kilograms (12 lb), and have a body length between 420 and 600 millimetres (17 and 24 in), averaging 490 millimetres (19 in) from the top of the head to the base of the tail. Adult females weigh between 3.4 and 5.3 kilograms (7.5 and 12 lb) and average 4.1 kilograms (9.0 lb), and measure between 300 and 495 millimetres (12 and 19.5 in), averaging 426 millimetres (16.8 in).

Behaviour

A troop of Vervet Monkeys in South Africa feeding on maize and other seeds

Social structure

The vervet monkey is diurnal and social; living in groups of up to 38. There is a clear order of dominance among individuals within the group.

Swimming

Vervets are not only good swimmers on the surface, but are capable of diving and proficiently swimming fair distances under water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vervet_Monkey

Leopard Tortoises (Afr. Skilpad)


When speaking of African leopards, one automatically envisions a stealthy predator cat with glowing turquoise-green eyes. Although this is an apt description of one magnificent beast, to those herpetologically inclined the term "leopard" takes on a different meaning. It refers to the second largest terrestrial chelonian species on the African continent, the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis. On the subcontinent (primarily the eastern Cape Province of South Africa) adults may reach a respectable size in excess of 24 inches, with a weight near 45 pounds. Elsewhere within its range it does not grow as large.

http://www.reptilechannel.com/reptile-species/lizards-profiles/Monitor.aspx

 

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