• John Mendelsohn

A balancing act – figuratively and literally

Life has been tough for Ongava’s animals and plants during this year's extraordinary drought, the worst since 1980 and 1981. We expect lots of plants to die, and many animals have doubtless moved elsewhere or remained underground until the rains return. Animals need to balance the risk between eating or being eaten when they venture out to feed. Rock hyraxes normally feed on the ground close to their rocky homes, but in the absence of nearer food these daring hyraxes also require a good deal of physical balance while munching new shoots at the top of White syringa (Kirkia acuminata) trees. Steadying themselves on flimsy branches 10 and more metres above the ground, they would be easy quarry for Martial and Verreaux’s Eagles, both of which are breeding on Ongava at the moment.