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First days in the bush

Happy Belated 4th of July everyone! I actually had the wrong date on my watch and totally forgot yesterday! I only realized this morning when someone said it was the 5th that I was off by a day. It was actually my new British friend and fellow intern that then said.. "you didn't realize that yesterday was your 4th of July?".. yeah, that was a tad embarrassing! Oh well, as it turned out i celebrated last night without realizing because our whole crew went to a pub in town to watch the rugby match between South Africa and England/ Ireland and then continued drinking and hanging out into the night! P.S. I love rugby! I also learned last night at the pub that ostrich is really yummy and that dry alcoholic cider is soooo much better than drinking beer! Again I felt a little silly to learn from one of the guys working here from D.C.that we have cider in the States! Who knew..!?

Sunday is our official day off but everyone was just sitting around mid-day so we all piled into the Jeep and went to check on the "Royal Family" pride consisting of a male that was rescued from a canned hunting camp, rehabilitated and then released into our reserve and a female and their three 1 and 1/2 year old cubs (2 males and a female). There is also another pride in another enclosed piece of land consisting of 2 females and two brothers (I think!?). So, this afternoon was my introduction with the Royals and they are all magnificent healthy white lions. After watching them drag around a Giraffe leg (that had been left for them to find due to their natural hunting skills still being a little less developed than fully wild lions) we were ready to head back to camp when the dominant male decided to take a nap beside/ against our back right wheel thus trapping us between him and an acacia bush that was in front of our car. Some impatience from inside the Jeep eventually lead us to take out the bush in front of us and the male could not have cared any less!!! The cubs were a little more curious and galloped after us for a coupe seconds before stopping to watch us roll away! This afternoon check is done everyday as well as a nightly one so depending on my schedule around camp with research assigned to me, I will have plenty of face time with these gorgeous cats! I couldn't be happier about it!

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