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20 Travel Namibia Moro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture Wildlife Rhino monitoring Camera snap Extra ' rhino monitors' are being drafted in to observe, record and protect rhino populations in Namibia. The monitors - or field scouts - are a crucial tool in the conservation of the black rhino which lives on conservancies and private land. Often these rhinos have been translocated as part of the Black Rhino Custodianship Programme. The programme takes rhinos from thriving groups - principally in Etosha - and re- locates them. This stimulates the donor population of rhino to reproduce, thus increasing the overall numbers. Currently there are not enough competent and dedicated monitors to record the daily progress of the animals, which puts them at risk from poachers. Save the Rhino Trust and the Namibian Ministry of the Environment are to run training courses at Ojovasondo in Etosha National Park for people keen to help. Birgit Kotting Birgit Kotting A curious young lion was caught on film moments before he ripped out a new waterhole webcam and used it as a toy. The waterhole at Andersson's Camp on the edge of Etosha is popular and has daily visits from kudu, springbok, black-faced impala, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, eland, zebra and giraffe. White and black rhino are also frequent drinkers, including a young black rhino named Oden and his friend ( for now) Asterix. Together Oden and Asterix put on a different show every evening as they try to dominate the waterhole. Staff decided to set up a camera- trap to see what was happening at the scene while everyone was in bed. Hyena, lion, rhino and most of the antelope species were caught on film. The camera took pictures without using a flash, so disturbance to the animals was negligible. Then one night a juvenile lion decided he wanted to play with the camera and tore it off the tree to which it was attached. The lion chewed holes in its casing and then dragged its ' kill' under a tree 500 metres away, where it lost interest. The last picture the camera took was of the lion ready to pounce. After these courses, the monitors will have up- to- date knowledge of each population of rhino. Trained monitors will ensure greater protection for individual rhinos, and also provide relevant management information on distribution patterns and population dynamics. In addition, professional surveillance and protection of black rhino populations in the communal conservancies will mean greater accessibility to the animals by guided tourists and less conflict between the rhino and members of the community. The project has been supported by UK- based Sindisa Foundation and Wilderness Wildlife Trust. Sindisa also operates a rapid response fund which it uses to support key projects when they encounter problems in the field, often small but critical problems that need small but immediate funding to resolve them. n www. sindisafoundation. org. uk safari and adventure co Caught on camera, moving in for the kill...

Travel Namibia 21 NAMIB DESERT LODGE'S latest guest is very reserved. He never shows his face in the restaurant, preferring long walks in the grounds. He withdraws when other guests approach. He's a cheetah - the fi rst to be seen in Gondwana Namib Park. He was fi rst spotted in the immediate vicinity of the lodge when guests were enjoying a long drink on the terrace. The cheetah suddenly rose from tall grass about 60 m away and ambled off into the surrounding darkness. Apparently he had been lying there for quite a while, watching the fl oodlit waterhole. Previously only the spoor of cheetah had been found in Gondwana Namib Park - and that only rarely. For decades, the area on the eastern fringe of the Namib was used for keeping sheep and goats. Predators like cheetahs, hyenas and jackals were shot or driven away by the farmers. Cheetah checks in The white black- backed jackal ON A MORNING GAME DRIVE in the Okondeka region of Etosha, an eerie snow- white ghost appeared out the bush - an albino black- backed jackal. Guests of Wilderness Safari's Ongava Lodge watched as he moved out onto Etosha pan and ' disappeared', perfectly camoufl aged against the white ground. This posed the fascinating question: Had albinism actually benefi tted this animal? It is generally accepted that animals with this condition do not MARY ASKEW Phantom of Etosha " If we gave you our old football kits, what would you do?" IT WAS ONE OF THE more unusual queries Namibia Tourism UK had received. But, on a recent trip to Windhoek, Namibia Tourism's Debbie Walker found the answer at The Dr Frans Aupa Indongo Primary School - a school in the former township of Katutura. The children are all from a very poor background and most have no electricity or running water in their homes. The school provides not only an education to these children, but also gives a sense of normality and stability to their lives. The donation of the football shirts, no longer needed by a UK primary school, has given the young Katutura team a much-needed boost and a team identity. Head Paulus Lewin said: " We promise that we will use the kit to further boost the morale of the boys and give them an opportunity to one day play for the national team". Children all over Africa love football, but rarely have a proper ball to play with. They often make do with a homemade version, cobbled together out of plastic bags and elastic bands. Footballs for Fun is a UK charity which encourages people to give footballs away while they are on holiday in Africa. ¦ www. footballs4fun. org Kit for Katutura BRIAN STACEY BELOW: Golden moment. New shirts for the Katatora team, seen with Debbie Walker of Namibia Tourism UK needed survive long as they are so conspicuous to predators. Not so this jackal, who was " fi t, fat and thriving," according to guide Kim Nixon. Albinism is the complete absence of pigmentation due to inability to produce melanin. An albino's eyes are pink as a result of blood vessels showing through in the absence of darker colours. Albinism is normally caused by a genetic mutation that can be inherited if both parents have the albino gene.