01 August 2010

Mobalizing The Troops

The long arm of the law has finally caught up to me, again. When I checked my cameras I got served a notice by the Tygerberg Secret Police... They where waiting for me just around a corner. Usually the Secret Police operate, well, in secret. You can find them sneaking around on secret missions and trying to act "innocently" all over South Africa. They have mastered the art of performing secret-police-business in plain sight. Nobody ever wonders what their true motives are, but if you watch them closely you can see that they are hiding something...

The officers arrived at the scene as I got closer to the cameras

They brought their full force. Most of the members of the Greater-Pond-District Camera Trap Policing Unit was present, only some of the junior officers had to sit this one out.

One of the midday patrols passing by the camera

They even brought in some of the high ranking generals. A "Lavender" Helmeted Guineafowl was conducting patrols in front of the Cuddeback for most of the week.

A Lavender officer drilling the troops - these guys are more like military commanders than normal police officers

When the Tygerberg Secret Police gets serious they operate with an iron fist. They made sure that not a single other species was photographed at the primary monitoring site. They (and only they) where on all of the photos the entire week.

They had an eye on my camera the entire time

There where no night time photos from the Cuddeback. I'm sure they must have roosted just behind the camera. At night they made sure that the Bushnell (which was close by) was under watch by heavily armored and seemingly well trained civilian volunteers.

Civilians guarding the Bushnell at night

My other Bushnell was hidden away in a different part of the reserve and snapped a picture of a Caracal passing by. Overall the police force had the entire hill on high alert. Now that I think about it some Hadedas where giving me a lot of grief just before I ran into the the police squad. (Those familiar with Hadedas will know that they have a really loud call and three of them where shouting out the alarm as I walked past...)

I'm suspecting that this might been an elite spy working for the Tygerberg Secret Police Service - sneaking around gathering information

I have a bad record with these particular officers in the Greater-Pond-District, so I'll try and move the Cuddeback before I get into even more trouble with the law - I already moved the Bushnell.

(Those of you wondering how I know that the senior officer is a "Lavender" Helmetted Guineafowl can check out a color key some strange people in Texas USA developed over here. I wonder what the secret police is doing in the USA?)


  1. The secret police are everywhere. It's no use trying to run or hide.

  2. Henry,
    I think you've spent too much time out in the bush on your own. EVERYONE knows that caracals are the elite operatives within a ruthless anti-police terrorist group.

  3. Lynda, I also thought that the Caracal might be anti-police terrorists, but I haven't seen any sign of their acts of terror... I would have expected to find many casualties during my camera trapping trips, but I haven't even seen a misplaced feather. Taking the number of Caracal and the number of officers into account this seems odd... While writing the blog I gave it some thought and I think it is much more likely that the Caracal are re-socialized/hypnotized ex-terrorists now serving as under cover agents on the behalf of the police force.

    Other possibilities that crossed my mind were:
    1) This being Cape Town and all the Caracal might be vegetarians.
    2) The Secret Police has such a strong presence and so many officers that the Caracal are terribly intimidated and won't risk “breaking the piece”.
    3) The Caracal feast on the abundance of mice and other small mammals and don't bother to hunt the more "difficult" and "unfamiliar" prey.

    On a more serious note, it is an interesting topic and I would be curious to see whether the Caracal around here sometime hunt Guineafowl or not. I seem to recall reading somewhere that although Caracal do hunt birds they do not form the bulk of their normal diet, much preferring mammals.

    I also assume that there are regional fluctuations and in some areas birds can form a larger percentage of their total prey base.