Anyone who has visited Loisaba Tented Camp will be familiar with the herd of greater kudu’s that have decided that living within the fence line of the lodge is a far safer bet than taking their chances out in the conservancy.

At the beginning of last month, camp managers George and Theresa Van Wyk found a newly born kudu who had injured herself. “She had slipped and was unable to get herself up onto her feet” says George. “We tried to help her up but she could not stand”.

Her mother was nearby, so they decided to leave them alone to see if the young calf would eventually get to her feet. However, when they returned to check on them later that evening, they found the calf still unable to get up. Although within the fence at Loisaba Tented Camp, predators such as leopards and hyenas can still get in, so she was in a very vulnerable position.

Unable to leave her to her fate, George and Theresa took her to their house and were able to bottle feed her, with Torrie (Loisaba’s livestock manager) administering anti-inflammatory injections to help with the healing process.

The Kudu calf (who has been named Binti – meaning daughter in Kiswahili) with George and Theresa’s son Patrick

Luckily, the calf’s mother – who initially disappeared when the calf was taken in – worked out where she was, and stayed in George and Theresa’s garden. The calf slept inside at night, but spent the day in the garden with her mother.

“She is still nursing an injured shoulder, but is getting stronger by the day, and should very soon be able to go off with her mother and the rest of the resident group of kudu who live around Loisaba Tented Camp – all of whom have come into the garden to visit the little one!

Binti with her mother in George and Theresa’s garden

“It’s been, and continues to be, quite a journey for the calf (whom we have named Binti, meaning Daughter in Swahili) – and an experience for us to see how the mother has accepted our assistance and not abandoned the calf.”

Binti was released with her herd last weekend, and has been sleeping out with them since. She’s doing well, and still comes into George and Theresa’s garden with her mother every day. “We have purposely avoided trying to approach her, as the most desirable result out of this is that she integrates fully. So as much as we loved having her with us, we are enjoying ‘letting her go’ and watching her development. It remains our hope that her limp will eventually disappear.”

 

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