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From South Africa’s Kapama Reserve late last week. This epic reserve is home to a thriving herd of wild eles as well as the Jabulani herd, who were mostly rescued from the Zimbabwe tourist trade. All of these beauties live free and happy, although the rescued fellas often have human carers with them to ensure they don’t run into any trouble (especially as the wild eles aren’t their biggest fans). When I was watching the sunset I was so misty eyed at the beauty of the bush that I could barely even see it. Then when the eles unexpectedly showed up I actually lost my marbles... luckily I won’t be needing them any time soon though. The best! 💛
Heavily pregnant white rhino, just a few moments before legendary vet Doc Rogers darted her from the chopper, sedating her so we could work on her. Once she was under, it took us about 20 minutes to get DNA samples, microchip and notch her, and even though I found it super upsetting to see her so vulnerable, this is a vital step in the war against rhino poaching. Doc and his team have done this for around 1500 rhinos and their commitment, focus and care are invigorating. Today more rhinos are being poached than are being born, with 3 rhinos being taken every day. And many experts say they could be extinct within the next 10 years. It's bleak. But my visit to the Kapama Reserve, where I met Doc as well as the reserve's Anti-Poaching team, has given me hope. Cos rhinos have some incredibly brave and selfless humans protecting them ✊🏼
I've had some phenomenal adventures over the years, but going on two patrols with the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit last week was up there with the very best. This women-only wildlife defence team is literally at the frontline of conservation in South Africa and every day they put their lives on the line to ward off poachers. Patrolling with them in the morning and again at night - under a full moon, when the poachers are most active - was an extraordinary privilege, and I can't wait to share their amazing stories (keep an ear out for Season 2 of my Wild Lives podcast, coming soon). In the meantime, behold my humble heroes, Black Mambas Qolile, Goodness and Mirren 💚 #meetsouthafrica
Snake Eagles, like this chap, are kick-asp birds of prey found in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa. When they spot their snacky snake, they swoop down and bite it at the back of its head to break its spine, then scoff it headfirst. Still, they aren't immune to venom so if a spitting cobra fights back it can mean death by dinner... Gangsta.