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The last four months of the year had created some excitement, since the breeding program of the lever PN Cangandala entered a new and exciting phase. After all, as a result of the successful capture operation that took place in July and August, we now had two groups in two sanctuaries sealed brood. Despite our expectations, I fear that things will never arise in Cangandala smoothly, and once again were forced to react to unexpected events and changing our course. In the best of these months últmos was bittersweet.

The main culprit of our last headache was Ivan "the Terrible", a man with somewhat surprising how aggressive we had recently brought Luando Reserve. He had been released on grounds of 2,800 acres, with six young women and a young man of two years (Miguel), and within a week he had found everything. A herd of hybrids was also in this room, but never both mixed herds. The two men were seen together a few times, but in the second week of Ivan Tornu irascible character was evident when Miguel persecuted and killed mercilessly. The young man was beaten several times and at least twice in the chest ... should have been a quick and brutal encounter. This event was obviously a big disappointment for everyone, because we judge that the young man was still too young to be seen as a threat. Territorial males are generally intolerant creatures, often struggle with competitors, and deaths resulting from such skirmishes are frequent. Maybe Michael had been tolerated for another man. but not Ivan the Terrible. However, and very cruel as it may seem, this young man was the animal less important and have been only brought as Plan B, a replacement in case something happens to older men and dominant. The loss of Michael not a crisis for the breeding program.

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But Ivan was not satisfied, and a couple of weeks later he broke the seal of force, opening a huge hole and escape hood along its southern border. He took with him two of the females a year, leaving the third female 1 year and 2 of the three years. Why only two of the six females accompanied him remains a mystery, although it is tempting to speculate that perhaps others did not agree with their customs. The escape of these animals was naturally as a further blow to our plans. Especially as to suppose that Ivan would initiate a migration south for suicide of his former Luando territory, or at least linger drifting erratically and crossing the boundaries of time park with two young women. But just when we had given certain situations these distressing was when Ivan decided to surprise positively! The fact is that, once free from the shackles of the semi-captivity, Ivan decided to calm down, establishing his new territory in the area around the shrine. In recent months we have followed Ivan through radio signal and that really seems to have been based on a fixed area, always a few kilometers from the fence line. Unfortunately its elusive nature has kept him out of sight, and decided it would be a good idea to push it too much.

Although we could not confirm, it seems that Ivan has kept the two girls with him. Equally important, is not the case that the place where they established a new territory coincides precisely with the usual attendance zone Joan, a woman age pure escaped under the fence in 2009, and since then stands alone. I can not help thinking that this is more than mere coincidence that Ivan has been established with Joan by now surely must have known that it was his presence that led to Ivan who broke the seal! Now, this would be a crazy chapter in this long history. If it ends up being Joan keep Ivan and girls, creating a new breeding herd, even outside the relative safety of the sanctuaries. You can also become a better and more natural epilogue originally planned!

Considering what happened to Ivan, decided to immediately open the sanctuary of less than 400 ha, and therefore only has a large fenced with 3,200 ha. It would make sense to continue to maintain the core breeding first contained in a sub-optimal when there were no second territorial male. For more, now we had a group of four young women pure desperately needs a male companion, preferably a gentle man like our old Duarte.

However, the hybrid male castrated "Scar" had joined and been accepted by the pure flock. Not even as "one of the girls", but not exactly like a stud ... well, I'm not sure what to expect from a hybrid castrated, but it certainly looks and behaves in a peculiar way! It became a topic quite nervous and hesitant (the temptation to say that sometimes seems a bit hysterical), but it seems harmless.

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Sometimes we see that runs on a short chase behind a pregnant woman or sub-dominant, as if seeking to establish a position in the hierarchy of women. But more often follows the Duarte everywhere, and like to climb to the top of large hills termites (termites) that stood guard while peacefully grazing herd. It is as if the scar would be Duarte's personal assistant, but almost always completely ignored by the old man who clearly do not see the justification for expending energy in a confrontation with a hybrid castrated. In rare cases, the scar was observed about men amaricadamente, to little more than the result, but when he did the latter, in his typical relaxed, just lowered his head showing the tip of its long horns, and immediately jumped and Scar fled to a safe distance.

Predictably, and once removed of the separation fence, it was not long until the breeding herd adequately in the most holy place, and the hybrid group was rapidly absorbed. After all, this area was already well known by older women, and the hybrids were his own children. Nor was it surprising to find that the four young women Luando were not accepted in the herd. The antelopes live in matriarchal systems, in which herds are led by dominant women, usually older women and "weird" are rarely accepted in the group. Ironically, our old women feel more comfortable in the company of some hybrids aberrant and ugly, with these beautiful new palanquinhas the Luando! As for hybrids, no matter what people say, you will always be beautiful to their mothers! In any case, the failure to have collected all the animals in a herd is not only annoying, and may even be irrelevant. All we need is the male, from time to time, to pass the time "handy" with the girls. And not on purpose, Duarte has been outside the large herd and join the other four women.

As for the reproductive capacity of the herd original, is still well below the minimum required, and we have confirmed to announce new offspring. On the other hand, now that we have entered the third year, a clear pattern seems to emerge. Of the seven women, only three are playing. The star has been the largest of the company (and dominant) Neusa that follows the natural cycle of reproduction Giant Sable gave two calves in two consecutive months of May (2010 and 2011, although in both cases, unfortunately, the children were men). And again in September / October last year was in heat again, and we could witness the excited Duarte smelling urine and even make a tentative attempt to assemble. Hopefully this effort is not too much for her, because now seemed a bit more fragile and was seen limping.

Then we have two other women, Louise and Teresa, who also played, although six-month phase of the normal cycle. She went into heat in late pregnancy is reflected in season. This is not necessarily bad, provided they continue to play. In fact, both women were "very" pregnant in 2010, but only Louise has produced a foal. We assume that Teresa must have missed the bit created after this birth. In 2011, both were obviously pregnant in October and November, and in December for Louise had left the herd (presumably would give birth), while an udder Teresa appeared very nervous and visibly swollen, so I hope that this has calved.

  • All this would be very acceptable, not the four remaining women who have not yet shown any clear sign of pregnancy, though they seem very well fed, healthy and at peace. Thus, for the second consecutive year, we had only one breeding female and in time, then we had two females to play off-cycle and four others with no sign of breeding! This can not be a coincidence, and it seems clear now that we should not blame the male or other exogenous events. Under normal circumstances, the female reproductive giant gray must be very finely tuned (with the most females almost simultaneously shift calve May / June) and the fertility rate should be about at least 90%, which is somewhat wrong.
  • We believe that the explanation for this abnormal reproductive rate, is almost certainly the result of a decade of hybrid production and frequent lack of reproduction. None of the women had what you might call a healthy reproductive history and the consequences now become painfully obvious, with more than half of women do not even enter the menstrual cycle.
  • If our suspicions were confirmed this situation will have to be attacked in 2012, possibly anesthesia and administration of hormonal treatment, therefore try to induce this these problems from four females.

Finally, I should mention that the year 2013 ended in the most tragic, when suddenly our dear friend Kaluga Lima, died. He was a film director and photographer said he was finishing his documentary project on the lever. We had made several expeditions together in the hills, and in Cangandala Luando, and I feel privileged to have shared moments esses with Kaluga. If I lost a great and true friend, a saber Giante certainly lost one of its most enthusiastic and competent. And the country has lost simply the best professional in your field, someone who can not be replaced anytime soon.

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