Oddities Of Nature
Oddities of nature have always fascinated man. In Kruger, some of these sightings have been recorded in the ranger's diaries over time. Excerpts of these were compiled by Arie Minnaar and published in the June 1986 edition of Sanparks'Custos magazine. Game rangers see some extraordinary things on patrol. Here is a sampling from their diaries.
In July 1958 while patrolling the area north of Satara towards Nwanedzi in the east, about four kilometres from the camp, a game ranger came across a herd of zebra grazing. They were in a good condition. However, one stallion had a peculiar greyish-brown mark on his back. There were no stripes on the blotch and it looked like a saddle placed on him back to front. It was identical on both sides of the spine.
One hot January day in 1958 another game ranger was out in the Tshokwane area on horseback. On inspecting a blue wildebeest herd, he noticed a round white spot some 50mm in diameter on the forehead of one of the cows. Her calf had a white patch between its eyes and ears. The lower half of its tail and the hind legs below the knees were also white. Its flanks, stomach and forefeet were very light, while its back and the rest of the body were darker, although not as dark as the other wildebeest calves.
In August 1959, on one of his patrols on horseback, close to Shangoni near the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, the game ranger of Shingwedzi came across an adult impala ewe with horns. The horns were thin and misshapen, one being upright and the other pointing forwards and downwards.
In the winter of June 1959 two game rangers reported an albino waterbuck. Although an intensive search for the animal was conducted, the party failed to see it again. (From Custos, June 1986, compiled by Arie Minnaar).