Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

Robbie and I did a bit of anti-poaching/game sighting in the bush of the Save Conservancy. I'm usually opposed to walking aimlessly in the woods. I'm just opposed to walking actually. But at the prospect if spotting lion, giraffe, elephants and various African wildlife, I was keen to romp around. Plus, Rob gave me a shotgun to carry around and a cutoff safari button up. What more could a kid ask for!
Rhino and elephant poaching is huge in southern Africa. Hence the reason rhinos have been rapidly climbing the endangered species list. Just a week before I arrived in Zim, a rhino was killed just a few miles from the Davy house and dehorned (that's all poachers want us the horn. Its a natural aphrodisiac and supposedly the Asians make medicines and wines with it. It must get them horny... Get it?). Anyways, the rhino was killed using an AK 47 automatic machine gun... The same kind the Zimbabwean military uses if you catch my drift. While Rob and I were getting locked and loaded he looked at me rather serious and said, "it's unlikely to happen but if someone starts shooting at us we need to split in opposite directions, find out where the shots are coming from and shoot back." In my head I thought, "ya I'm gunna split alright but I ain't sticking around for a shoot out with some crooked poachers. I'm gettin the fuck out of here!" In a more austere tone I replied, "Are we shooting to kill or to scare?" I was delighted to find out that any situation is circumstantial but scaring would come before killing. Fortunately for all parties, no poachers were encountered and no shots were fired.
Instead, we spotted some zebra butts as they ran away and a few fresh lion doodies next to a recently killed impala. We followed the tracks for a bit but never caught sight of any lions. The giraffes we saw were in the form of skeletons which are surprisingly impressive in and of their own.
We trekked for a few hours in the beautiful Zimbabwean morning, caught some rays, and learned a little something about African wildlife. Not your typical morning stroll but it definitely got the blood pumping.

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