Unique Predator Encounters Available at Grassland Bushman Lodge
Grassland Bushman Lodge (also known as Grasslands Safaris) provides a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about predator/livestock conflict in a very dramatic way – up close and personal.
At Grassland Bushman Lodge, Guests are able to walk in with a pack of 19 highly endangered African wild dogs, quite an interesting experience to be so close to these highly elusive predators and allowing for observation of some of their typical behaviors and energetic character. It is also possible to drive into a similar enclosure of approximately 40 acres that houses an impressive pride of lions.
How Predators End Up at Grassland Bushman Lodge
All of these predators were destined to be shot on neighboring cattle ranches, but the Grasslands Lodge owners, the DeGraff family, were requested by the Wildlife Department to capture and rescue these animals. Early on animals were caught and released back into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve but most quickly returned to the cattle farms and that has sentenced them to a life in captivity.
There are quite a few captive lions that have very limited interaction with people and they will be subjects in my Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA) research. With success we might be able to release some of these animals (each must be carefully evaluated) and without a doubt work with these captives can help us advance the CTA methodology to the benefit of the remaining wild predator populations.
Grassland Bushman Lodge Wildlife Sighting
Interestingly, our group had a very unusual sighting of a family of 4 cheetah very close to the Grassland Bushman Lodge. Due to dangers of interacting with livestock, predators are very wary in this area and rarely sighted so we had some extreme luck. A blog entry from later in this trip will detail that 2 cheetah captured on the cattle farms in this region will be released later this year in the Selinda Reserve.