By Barbara Dronova
The main focus of my visit to Namibia were, of course, the caracals. And though Medusa showed me a few jumps, I was supposed to have a shoot with two jumping stars - two big powerful males called Luna and BC. These guys were much less familiarized with people and inhabited a large enclosure. We went to see them in the afternoon, but it soon became obvious that even for these wilder boys something was off. They showed practically no interest in communicating with us except to do a lot of hissing, kept a great distance between us and themselves, all while we were losing daylight.
Colette, the producer, was getting worried, but she was more upset than I was. Working with animals means you can't take anything for granted. Nature is unpredictable, you just have to accept it. So I was pretty chill about it. Colette was having none of that though. She and the animal wrangler Armand went searching in the bushes for the cats and found a big bunch of feathers instead.
A fresh kill. No wonder the boys didn't feel like working, their bellies were full! We did find out something important - the cats, apparently, could successfully hunt in their enclosure. Valuable info, but I wasn't there for studies on habitat enrichment.