Frogs rest with snake! 

Suni-Ridge forwarded to 50-50 a series of amazing photos taken by Janet Cuthbertson of a snake subsequently identified as either a boom slang or a green snake.

The photos show how 8 Western Leopard Toads swam up to the snake and one by one settled against it. They snuggling up to the snake almost as though they were befriending it!  Read the amazing story that was submitted to Veld Vokus the SABC TV programme on 50-50.

  

 SABC   TV.  50-50 program. 

Dear  Megan,

 8 WESTERN LEOPARD TOADS NESTLING WITH A SNAKE.

 An item that you may wish to discuss on 50-50’s Veld Fokus.

 have just encountered an amazing sight at our Wildlife Reserve that is in the buffer zone of the World Natural Heritage Site, The Isimangaliso Wetland Park, False Bay area.  A snake – a species that I have not yet identified – was seen in our swimming pool resting on the edge of the rain water that filtered into the pool during its winter maintenance.

 The snake was curled up around a Western leopard toad and I assumed that the toad was the snakes prey.  However as I observed this, another toad of the same species swam up to them and  settled in with the first toad.  I wondered if it was coming to investigate the “captured” toad.  When it saw me however, it swam away.  A short while later I sneaked back and amazingly 3 more toads were swimming up to the “captured” one and snake.  After a while more arrived.  At this point I had to return indoors, but I went out again after about an hour.  To my surprise there were 8 toads now nestled together with the snake, each finding a comfortable resting position!  Amazing.

 After another hour I returned again and the snake had moved away to the other side of the pool.  All the Western leopard toads – some of which were still in the position where the snake had been –  were fine and they swam away when I disturbed them.

 I would be pleased if the snake could be identified – it almost appears to me to be some sort of file snake.  File snakes feed on other snakes and are harmless to humans and I wonder if it would therefore not be a risk to the toads that seemed to have no fear of it.

 The greatest interest however is the mystery of the toads that appeared “befriend” the snake!  Could this be explained by anyone?  I have identified the attached photos A to E and you may wish to view them in this order.  I would be able to send better resolution photos if required.

 Many thanks for 50 50 – it is a wonderful program!

 Kindest regards

 Janet Cuthbertson.

Info@suni-ridge.org.za

Tel 078 3461726

www.leopardwalklodge.co.za

www.suni-ridge.org.za  

—————————————————– 

FALSE BAY SCHOOL  

What Happens In the World 

CHILDREN SUPPORTING CHILDEN AT FALSE BAY SCHOOL

Not often does one see a young person with insight and determination that is inspired by the understanding that every one of us CAN make a difference if we  would just care enough.  Austyn and  Alexander  Mitchev live in Florida in America, where poverty  is not often seen, but they have extended their understanding and compassion for the less privileged,  by reaching out to the children of False Bay school in South Africa. 

In June 2007 Austen wrote an essay: See more at:  http://www.suni-ridge.org.za/campaign-school.htm#more-72 

He and his family visited Suni-Ridge and initiated support for False Bay School.  Austyn has never forgotten the children and continues to do his best to support our school

What Happens in the World” by Austyn Julian Mitchev (dated 10-26-2007)  – 

 “In the world many people are homeless, ill, and dying. If you don’t know why you should help then it’s time for you to get going!”   

During  2012 – five years since Austyn wrote the Essay, he is now a Freshman in His new High School.  Austyn and Alexander still continue to seek help for our Children! Before departing form America for their holiday in Zululand they collected shoes from all their school friends and they arrived at Leopard Walk Lodge, with a huge suitcase full of beautiful shoes and socks for our children!

It was a great day for all False Bay School children who received these quality socks and shoes that had been brought all the way from America.  To top the fun of each child receiving a pair of shoes, Alexander and Austyn also brought a lunch treat for all.  After sharing the lunch they ended the lovely occasion with a quick game of soccer with their new African friends.

 

 From all the children of False Bay School, a very BIG THANK YOU to Austyn and  Alexander and their Peers from America, who have shown how every one of us CAN make a positive difference in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

 

 

 

 

A DOG NAMED “MERCY”

During our recent trip into Africa, Mozambique, I would imagine that he came to my bungalow from one of the nearby rural villages that are inside the Limpopo Trans Frontier Park.  

He had obviously pulled his paw out of a wire snare and had sustained horrific injuries! I confess that I fed the dog and requested the camp attendant to not chase him.  My feeling was that this poor animal deserved compassion since he had obviously survived hours of torture in a snare from which he probably pulled loose thus causing the horrific injury. I named him “Mercy”.

                                                    

 The saddest thing is that he kept his eyes on me the whole time, but when he saw me leaving he just turned away and looked down despondently! It was a miracle that we managed to find help for him but thanks to Marius Kruger and Billy Swanepoel of  the Veterinary division of the e National Park, “Mercy” was taken for medical attention.  

Animals in the rural areas desperately need to have medical rescue and support availd to them.  Suni-Ridge is motivating such support.

  
This was the correspondence to the Officers that helped:

Hi Billy,

I am really touched by your kindness and your concern to have followed through with the report from Marius, about the dog that I named “Mercy”- that was so badly injured in the Limpopo Trans Frontier Park.  You mentioned that he was taken to the vet technicians. That he would no longer be suffering is a miracle! 

If you are able we would greatly appreciate any further feedback about him.  My prayer is that someone would have given him a home and that he would have received medical attention.  However, if he was euthanized, that would have also been more humane than for him to continue suffering. I attach photos and also below, the email that I sent to Marius who then phoned you.

We would be most interested to know if there is any vet outreach program, that you know of in rural Mozambique.  Zululand has the department of Agriculture helping with cattle and livestock dipping etc, but no spaying or medical help for dogs and cats is provided by this Department.  We hope to address the need with support from various sectors.  Further to this, we are investigating what if any, education concerning pets/dogs/cats/donkeys is availed at school level to learners.  Environment is a subject that now has quite a lot of emphasis throughout the school curriculum but I doubt that the subject of humane management of animals is broached.  If not we are planning a meeting with the MEC for education to motivate this.

It would appear that enlightenment about the fact that animals are sensitive and feel pain, have feelings of dismay and sadness etc are facts that are seldom understood by rural children and people, Believe it or not, I have worked with a number of rural children that refuse to pick their dog up, they say because dogs have fleas and ticks! On the other hand, they don’t know what to do to treat it for fleas, ticks and mange. When asked what they would do if they had to pick it up for some reason, they have told me that they would drag it up by a chain.  But that as you probably know is the tip of the iceberg. Their understanding of animals is often vastly different in the rural area.  Overloading of oxen or donkey drawn water carts is common. Driving south of Xai Xai we saw a donkey that had collapsed and was lying in front of  his overloaded cart with all standing around looking at it.  Anyway I am sure you are aware of all of this. There are many challenges!

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks once again for confirming my faith that something could be done about the dog “Mercy”   I am touched to have encountered persons what would care!

Kindest regards

Janet Cuthbertson
www.suni-ridge.org.za
www.leopardwalklodge.co.za

—–Original Message—–
From: janet cuthbertson [mailto:info@suni-ridge.org.za]
Sent: 30 August 2012 10:15
To: ‘marius.kruger@sanparks.org’
Subject: Emailing: P1010666, P1010668, P1010648, P1010649, P1010650, P1010651, P1010653, P1010654, P1010659

Dear Marius,

Thank you very much for kindly following up about the dog with the horrific injury in the Limpopo Trans Frontier Park, that I reported to you had arrived at my hut.
 
If it is possible, I would appreciate the email or contact number of the person that you forwarded the matter to so that I could also follow through with him.

I confess that I fed the dog and requested the camp attendant to not chase him.  My feeling was that this poor animal deserved compassion since he had obviously survived hours of torture in a snare from which he probably pulled loose thus causing the horrific injury. I would imagine that he came to my bungalow from one of the nearby rural villages that are inside the Tran Frontier Park.  There were dogs in some of the Kraals.

I attach photos.  The saddest thing is that he kept his eyes on me the whole time, but when he saw me leaving he just turned away and looked down despondently! See the last photo.

If there is any chance, I will fund his rescue to bring him home to our Sanctuary, although I know this is just a chance in a million I do believe in Miracles! The main thing is that he is not left to suffer and that he will hopefully have a merciful vet attend to him. 

Well many thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Janet Cuthbertson.
info@suni-ridge.org.za