MOTORBIKE DIARY UPDATE:
During December 2015 and January 2016 The Motorbikes have not connected again. The two males HARLEY & STARSKY stick together and so do the two females, DUCATI & APRILIA.
They seem to swap around almost! Moving north and then coming down the western fence line to the ‘Serenjima’ strip and then going east from there, both groups following the same pattern – but separately from each other.
On the 23rd Dec, STARSKY was seen at Eland Dam – alone, but on a warthog kill – his first kill on his own and witnessed – The very next day, HARLEY was back with him again. We believe STARSKY got fed-up just sitting on the fence-line and moved away from HARLEY, who unfortunately shows very little interest in any shape or form of trying to hunt or even stalk. Could HARLEY perhaps be holding STARSKY back?
While the boys were up north, the girls spent most of their time down south, on the Serenjima strip and around Wayne’s Dam.
On the 21st Dec they had a run in with the siblings! Luckily no serious injuries, but Bones was very dominant and showed no tolerance towards the two new girls. A few of these run-ins have been documented – the last one by Janine Avery (Africa Geographic) http://africageographic.com/blog/close-cheetahs-okonjima/
APRILIA & DUCATI then moved north to Ombu Dam for a few days and then went even further north, then came down the western fence again.
On the 29th Dec, APRILIA was found outside the Okonjima Nature Reserve! Somehow she got through the perimeter fence and even though two teams were out trying to find the passage she escaped through nothing was found, no hole in the fence nor in any of the ‘swimmer-crossings’ that cross the rivers. A mystery! However somehow she got out!
DUCATI did not follow her, and luckily stayed with her, so we easily bribed her back into the safety of Okonjima and back with her mate – by guiding her into the park through a nearby gate with some meat. Luckily no farmer nor leopard, patrolling the area found her – but it was difficult to judge how long she was out for because it had rained during the night.
The boys, STARSKY & HARLEY then also moved down and spent their time between waterhole B and the Western fence, also no recorded kill except for STARSKY’S warthog kill earlier that week.
BUT then an unusual sighting was observed by the Okonjima guides on the 27th of Dec . . .
The Siblings and the Boys were strangely enough found sharing a warthog kill! No ‘real’ aggression between the two coalitions, they just ate together and then moved away from each other. Not sure who made the kill and why they were sharing? Is the contraception perhaps working? (Less aggression – less testosterone?)
Feb 6th THE MOTORBIKE BOYS!
After spending most of their days in close proximity to the perimeter fence, the two ‘motorbike’ boys Harley and Starsky eventually decided on a change of scenery into the open plains of the Okonjima Nature Reserve.
Since Aprilia and Ducati ultimately split from their brothers in November 2015, Harley and Starsky have been found only once on a kill they managed to make on their own. Otherwise the two 6-year old male cheetahs are still strongly reliant on supplemental feeding provided by the AfriCat team.
Yesterday, however, Harley and Starsky managed to take down a juvenile blue wildebeest and were able to enjoy a real meal after quite some time.
It is hoped that yesterday’s success will teach them both a lesson to favour the open plains with plenty of prey and rather avoid the fence line.