Sunday, April 27, 2008

The adventure of Kambi the kudu and her calf. This is a rough translation of the letter written by Christine the owner and foster mother of Kambi on the guest farm Elisenheim.  All photos by Christine.
Here is the latest news regarding the happenings on Elisenheim. We thank the Lord that our Kambi is once again back home with us.
After we found the little calf we searched the whole day and hoped anxiously that Kambi would return home.
This is what happened.

Shortly after the birth of the calf a leopard must have smelled the birth.
According to the tracks Kambi and the calf was on their way home with the leopard close on their heels(hooves).
The moment when the leopard confronted them Kambi ran. She is not fit due to the lazy life she leads around the house. The deep tracks shows that she was running with the leopard chasing her.
In the meantime the little calf staggered down the mountain and crawled under a bush not far from the farm house.
Kambi succeeded to diverge the attention of the leopard away from the calf. The deep scratch marks on her shows that she ran blindly through the thorn bushes.
During their search on the mountain the next morning, Andreas and the farm workers found the place where the calf was born. Andreas heard a rustling sound in the bush and found the calf which they brought home immediatly.
That night at around 1:00 the night watchman saw Kambi drinking water in the swimming pool. The next morning she was at her ususal place at the back door where she eats her breakfast. We put her with the calf in a stable but that did not suite her and she refused to let the calf drink. The little one tried but tired out and gave up. It was important for the calf to drink some colostrum so I fed Kambi while Andreas milked her. It seemed somewhat comical to milk a kudu but it was worth it as the little calf drank the milk.

We have an efficient qualified vet(wild animals) in Windhoek, Dr. Tubising, where I bought the necessary vitamins to add to the calf's diet. He told us that it is normal when a wild animal (in this case Kambi) was raised with a bottle the mother instinct does not develope properly.
Kambi did not chase the calf away and she licked the calf while he drank his bottle (maybe jealous) but otherwise she just went her way.

I am grateful that the bitch Jolly loves and cares for the calf. The dog lies next to the calf and licks him clean. So cute.

Yesterday morning the calf rained wet. We rubbed her dry and brought her on the veranda but he shivered so much he could not drink. I heated 2 corn-sachets (the type that must be heated in the micro) and put it next to the calf with another blanket over him. The cats were there quick enough, to enjoy the warmth of course.

It is a pleasure to see how the dogs and cats cared for calf. I can watch them for hours.
I am so grateful that the leopard dit not kill the calf (I am his mother), it is horrible to think about it.
I would like to thank my friend Anke for the luzern that she brought immediatly so that Kambi could produce milk. Very nice of you Anke.
Thank you to all of you for the messages and support
Christina und Andreas
Liebe Grüße,

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