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Feathered Friends

WRITTEN BY // Leah Brousse CATEGORIES // The Inverdoorn Diaries

24 - 30 March

Feathered Friends

This week started with some rain again. On Tuesday Wilna, our General Manager, called me over the radio. She had found four baby mousebirds that must have fallen out of the nest, because of the wind. One was already dead and the other three barely alive. They were stiff, cold, wet and full of ants. With the help of my blow-dryer all three of them came back to life within minutes. I was still very worried though since I didn't know how long they had been lying there. The smallest of them even had some blood in his mouth and unfortunately died the next day.

Our mousebird, which I reported about a couple of weeks ago, is doing really well. We named him Mickey the Mousebird. Mickey was really happy to have some friends around, but didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Since the other two mousebirds were already a little bit bigger than Mickey they were quite wild, which Mickey couldn't understand.

Yesterday we decided to release the two wild ones. Since they are too old to become tame it would be cruel to keep them in a cage, and since they were healthy and strong again it was the best thing to do. Mickey watched them flying away and didn't seem to care too much.

Cheetah wise nothing out of the ordinary has happened. We know that our male in the reserve caught something two days ago since he didn't want to come out of his bush. Annami also saw two jackals close to the male, which is another sign that there must be a carcass. What he caught remains a mystery, since it looks like the jackals took care of the carcass. I guess it must have been a springbok, because anything bigger would have been too heavy for the jackals to carry away.

Our female has finally returned to the back of the reserve where Kirstine and I were lucky enough to see a young caracal again. We can't wait to put the bush-cam up there. Otherwise all our cheetahs are happy and healthy.

On Thursday we had a big event at the lodge. Eighty people decided to come to Inverdoorn and stay in tents on the farm. It was a beautiful set-up, but also a lot of work – especially because of all the rain we had in the beginning of the week. The whole team had to help out, but everything went well and all the guest were very happy and we proved again that we work well as a team.

Kirstine is back! For those of you who do not remember her, Kirstine was at Inverdoorn as a volunteer last year and because of her great way with the cheetahs we decided to employ her. She arrived on Thursday. We are all really happy that she is back, but I think she is the happiest to be back with our cheetahs. Next week she will be reporting from her first days back at Inverdoorn.

About the author

Leah Brousse

Leah Brousse

Leah Brousse is the main cheetah handler at at the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation at Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge. She was born in France, grew up in Germany and now calls South Africa home where she is making her dream of working with cheetahs come true.

Reservations & Info

Inverdoorn Game Reserve


112 LOOP STREET 8001

Tel:  +27 (0)214 220 013
Fax: +27 (0)86 719 71 50


Meet The Team

  • Meet Chantelle De Bruin

    Meet Chantelle De Bruin

    Meet Chantelle de Bruin(21), one of Inverdoorn Game Reserves passionate and dedicated volunteer. Chantelle, was born in Bloemfontein, Free State and moved to Cape Town, a few years...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: Cynthia Knuppe

    Meeting the Volunteers: Cynthia Knuppe

    The lodge is abuzz with activity, and not only because it’s summer season. The other reason for all the energy coursing through the reserve is the interns and volunteers. I have never...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: John McIlvaine

    Meeting the Volunteers: John McIlvaine

    I mentioned previously that the cheetah team could no longer be referred to as the cheetah girls, and this is due to the presence of John McIlvaine. Coming from Seattle in the United...

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Contact Infos

Inverdoorn Game Reserve

112 LOOP STREET 8001

Tel:  +27 (0)214 220 013
Fax: +27 (0)86 719 7150


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