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24 October, 2009

Carnivorous Animals at Mabuasehube/Kgalagadi

As stated in the previous post, carnivores in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Mabuasehube Reserve are not just limited to lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Smaller carnivores include the caracal, wildcat, bat eared fox, aardwolf, banded mongoose, black-footed cat, small-spotted cat, small-spotted genet, honey badger, black backed jackal, cape fox, striped polecat, suricate, slender mongoose, African wildcat and yellow mongoose. All of the above belong to the genus of Carnivora.

An interesting fact about the Black backed Jackal is that it can smell carrion, which it is not above eating, from a distance of 11 kilometers down wind. These jackals will also accost brown hyenas in an attempt to rob them of their prey, but not the cheetah, as they seem to fear the speed of the cheetah.

The Aardwolf eats up to 300 000 termites per night. As termites make out their whole diet they need to stay in areas where there are at least 3000 termite mounts to survive. In die winter, when termites are active during the day, the Aardwolf adapts its habits from nocturnal to diurnal.

One way to find a honey badger in the Kgalagadi is to look for two or more Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks (Bleeksingvalke) resting in the lower branches of the trees as you will often find the honey badger in the vicinity.


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