Volunteer Diaries – Rare Sightings

By Samara on July 2, 2015

With mating season in full swing, it’s been an exciting time for our researchers and the project with a lot of interesting data being collected. Sometimes, however, we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of the other animals living on Samara Private Game Reserve.

We often see the various species of antelope living on Samara coming to drink at the river, especially after the latest rain, and have recently seen the cheetah too. Though this week we saw something quite unique: an African Clawless Otter. While following one of our troops, the monkeys started making unique alarm calls. Two researchers went to investigate what all the fuss was about and were fortunate enough to spot a large otter near the river. Even though we startled it, we got a good look at it swimming then hopping out onto the bank and disappearing into the bush. In many areas, humans are having a very negative impact on otter populations due to pollution, land over-usage and hunting but this otter will live out its days in peace!

Then, after a long day at work and all the excitement surrounding the otter sighting, we were then even more fortunate to spot an aardvark while driving home. We encounter (and stumble into) numerous aardvark holes while in the bush but have rarely seen these elusive creatures up close. We’re passionate about our vervet monkeys and our research but such exciting sightings definitely make our lives very interesting.

Rose and the Verveteers



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