So long since we have posted anything new. Busy with Birdsong, busy with many visitors for Christmas & New Year, busy with stuff. So the excuse to break this radio silence has to be good, and it is.
Les took these beautiful pictures yesterday of a young female kudu she’d named Gloria.
Gloria had been appearing at our house, alone, for a few days. We’d never seen a female kudu alone before; they are always part of a group, and the groups seem very close-knit too. So we were concerned about Gloria. Was she sick? Or had she been banished for some social blunder?
Yesterday we caught a brief glimpse of the reason. Gloria is a new mother! She has a beautiful but tiny baby. The smallest kudu we have ever seen. We’d guess that it’s just a week old at most.
Some research told the story, Kudu females reach sexual maturity between 1 and 3 years, and give birth to a single calf weighing about 15kg, nine months after the date with the candles and the Barry White CD.
The expectant mother leaves the group to give birth, and then keeps her calf hidden in the bush for 4 to 5 weeks. She leaves it concealed while she browses nearby (or in Gloria’s case, to mooch game pellets from the blonde chick with the camera and the bald guy), but returns to check on it, and to feed it, frequently.
So the anxiety we saw on Gloria’s face wasn’t illness as we’d first thought, but rather the maternal instincts of a new mother, as well as the uncertainty of being away from the safety of her family group for several weeks.
Les is now keeping the camera close, because soon we hope to get more than a glimpse of Gloria’s baby.
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If you’re interested in meeting Gloria and her baby yourself, or experiencing any of the other amazing wildlife close encounters that we write about here, then here’s the place to do it … our guest lodge “Birdsong”: