WITH MY OWN EYES
MOLE SNACK, LAKE ST LUCIA
Ilive in Richards Bay and decided to drive to the Lake St Lucia section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park for the day, in the hopes of tracking down a lifer. (I’m a serious birdwatcher.) Instead, I found something even more unique!
I’ve seen the Big Five and many other animals during my visits to different reserves over the years, but I’ve never been fortunate enough to see a kill. (Although I’m also the kind of person who will cover his eyes!)
I was on the Grassland Loop on the eastern bank of Lake St Lucia, about 5 km from the Catalina Bay viewpoint, when I noticed movement in the tall grass. I was very surprised when a serval emerged about 20 m away.
It was my first serval sighting in the wild, although I’ve seen this cat at the Emdoneni Zululand Cat Conservation Project before. It glanced at me and then turned its attention back to something in the grass. I could see it turning its ears this way and that, as it tried to determine the exact location of its prey. The serval walked towards me and then swerved left. My camera was on the back seat and without taking my eyes off the cat, I reached back to grab it. I used my Nikon D7200 and a
Nikon 200 – 500 mm lens.
I watched the serval through the viewfinder for a minute or two. It softly put one paw in front of the other 1 as it swivelled its ears and kept its eyes on something in the grass a few metres away. Then suddenly it pounced 23 , and I took a series of photos of my first kill! After the serval had caught its prey, it looked at me and walked away. This fat mole 4 might have been destined to feed a litter hidden somewhere in the bushes.
I’ve never heard of anyone being lucky enough to witness and capture something like this!