No wonder we couldn’t find it yesterday! The forest Cobra has moved to the other side of the property (and in a different direction to the one it was heading on release day).
Using our telelmetry equipment we located Forest Cobra 01 – FC01 to a region of bush to the south of our property. Trekking into the bush we located FC01 to an area where we felled a non-indigenous cactus tree, walking around the tree to see if we could get a glimpse of FC01 we were ecstatic to see a little Forest Cobra face peeking out at us from the trees above us. FC01 had managed to find an area of lower humidity with a little breeze 400m from his release site.
We were looking for FC01, but it was already watching us!
Even a large Forest Cobra, is well camoflagued and at home in trees.
Well, we found Lucas, but I sort of wish we hadn’t.
Bad news today everyone, it would appear that despite being a fairly large black mamba, Lucas has become food. We found his remains bearing a broken neck, so we at least know that death would have come fairly quickly to poor Lucas.
It would appear from the marks on the ground that he was pulled from his termite mound. We do not however know to which predator he fell prey. The puncture wound which also resulted in a broken neck could have been caused by either a white-tailed mongoose or snake eagle, both are also the only predators likely to have preyed upon such a large mamba.
Lucas is the snake which we all had the most confidence in for survival due to his countless scars and quick nature, not to mention his ability to successfully evade us despite the tracking equipment. As you can imagine we were all saddened by this news. RIP Lucas.
In the short duration of our telemetry project so far, we have discovered that all three snakes seem to have taken up residence in specific areas of the bush in which they were released. Using this knowledge, we have set up motion activated nightvision cameras, these cameras were supplied to us by Brickhouse Security.
Trying to pre-empt the next exploration direction, we left the camera out for a few days in the hope that Vader the forest cobra would saunter past. As we approached the camera trap, who did we see but Vader! Thankfully our video camera has a long zoom so we could film Vader without getting too close.
Actual footage from the motion cameras will be coming soon!