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     Mkhuze has had a long history of game capture and control. As early as 1935 a game capture operation was organised in the reserve to obtain a number of impala for reintroduction into the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Very little is known about the actual method of capture, but we do know that the animals were netted and transported to the reserve by Diamond T truck.

     Two nets were borrowed from Mr W.A.Campbell and erected in the Mkhuze Game Reserve. Barricades were built, with gaps left in them, into which the nets were placed to capture the animals. The exercise was successful, with 54 impala, 3 inyala and 2 steenbuck being caught and transported to Hluhluwe. This successful translocation of game set the scene for an activity in the reserve that was to gather momentum in the sixties and which continues to the present day. 

      The Diamond T truck used to transport game to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve in 1935

    A second successful game capture operation was organised in September, 1936, when additional impala, inyala and grey duiker, as well as 1 red duiker and 9 suni, were caught for Hluhluwe. In this instance a local contractor was employed to transport the animals to the reserve and he sent the Zululand Parks and Game Reserves Board an account for his expenses. These amounted to £15-0-0 (300 miles @ 1/- per mile). The suni antelope and the red duiker were transported to Hluhluwe by motor car while the other animals went by lorry.

     As has been mentioned elsewhere, the Nagana operations interrupted the Board's control of Mkhuze and no game, with the exception of one black rhino, was captured during the time that the reserve was under the control of the Department of Veterinary Services. Would that this activity could have continued, rather than the wholesale and systematic destruction of game that took place. Following the successful conclusion of the Nagana campaign and the return of the area to the Board, game capture operations were restarted. In 1954 an appeal was made to the Board for impala to stock the recently established game reserve at Nagle Dam near Durban and, in August of that year, a consignment of animals was caught and delivered to the reserve. The animals were blindfolded for the journey and all arrived safely, with the blindfolds still in position. When the blindfolds were removed, three of the antelope took to the water and a boat had to be hastily launched to shepherd them back to shore. This was the first time that the night capture techniques, which were to become so successful during the sixties, were used: the animal being temporarily blinded by spotlights, chased by vehicle and captured by hand. So successful was the technique used for this particular exercise, that it was gradually refined and was to become standard practice for capturing impala for the next ten years.

     With the prospect of game-catching becoming a regular occurrence at Mkhuze, it was decided, in 1956, to construct a permanent enclosure at the reserve's headquarters at Mantuma, to house animals awaiting transportation to new destinations. Singie tackled the task with his usual degree of ingenuity and understanding of animal behaviour. He placed a circle of reeds around the base of a large Marula tree near his office, which was selected to provide shade for the animals. A larger circle of reeds was placed around the inner one, but some distance away from it. This outside circle of reeds contained a reed gate through which animals could be introduced into the enclosure and through which staff could enter to feed them or organise their recapture. The advantage of this particular concept was that the pen contained no straight sides or corners into which the animals could run and injure themselves. The idea behind the design of the pen was based on the many observations that Singie had made of impala in the wild. Animals, on being disturbed, would always try to get out of sight as rapidly as possible. In the holding pen the animals could run around the inner circle of reeds to the far side of the tree to get out of sight of anyone entering the enclosure.

     The design of the game pen proved to be very successful as the captured animals were subjected to the minimum of stress and catching the animals again was also facilitated. When animals had to be recaptured, guards would enter the enclosure and approach the animals from both sides. The enclosure was successfully used on 4 July 1956 for the first time, when Peter Potter, the Chief Conservator, Zululand arrived to capture impala for the Ndumu Game Reserve. During the month, 21 were caught and, as reported at the time "operations proceeded all through the night". The animals were all successfully moved to that reserve.

     Less successful was the attempt made early in January 1957 to capture blue wildebeest calves. Seven of these animals were captured but all subsequently died from suspected heartwater fever. The death of the animals was not caused from the trauma of being captured, but rather from the fever for numerous head of game had died in the reserve from the disease as well.  Again, nothing has been recorded regarding the technique used to capture the wildebeest, but presumably some sort of funnel, tapering into a capture enclosure, into which the animals were driven, was used.

     In March of the same year it was decided to introduce additional impala into Ndumu and Peter Potter, Nick Steele from Umfolozi and Roddy Ward, the Board's Ecologist from Hluhluwe again arrived in Mkhuze to undertake the capture of the animals. The operation was very successful, with 52 animals being caught in less than 2 hours. Impala capture now became an annual event on the reserve's calendar during the autumn months. In April 1958, Colonel Jack Vincent and John Geddes Page, then Board Secretary, who was later to become its Director, arrived to assist in the capture of impala for the Rattray farm near Mkuze village. Fifty animals were caught and successfully moved to the farm without difficulty. In March of the following year, 37 animals were caught, 23 of which were captured during the first hour. This exercise was not entirely successful though. The lorry transporting the animals was following the capture vehicles along one of the reserve's narrow tracks, when the wooden cage on the back of it struck a low overhead branch. The impact smashed the cage and allowed 12 of the animals to escape. Ten of these managed to get away but 2 died from their injuries.

    By 1960, capture techniques had largely been streamlined, but the operation still had its hazards. In April 1960, during an exercise to catch 23 impala for Tommy Marx's farm "Trapini" near Mkuze, Singie was kicked in the eye by an impala, while he was helping to load it. Fortunately no permanent damage was done, but he had a very sore eye for quite a few days. I had my first introduction to impala capture shortly after my arrival in Mkhuze. In May 1960, 425 impala were caught and allocated to farmers who had applied for animals.

    The animals were certainly a bargain! For the first two years after my arrival, impala were given away to farmers "free of charge". After 1962, a charge was introduced - the princely sum of R4,00 per animal. This charge was retained for quite a number of years, before the Board decided to introduce a more realistic fee! Farmers wanting animals were required to send in their applications to the Board's Head Office in Pietermaritzburg, early in the year. During those early years the farms were not inspected to establish their suitability for the introduction of impala and all applications for game were accepted in good faith and, if approved, an allocation of game was made. As rangers, we were often convinced that there were quite a number of "chancers" amongst those who had applied for and been allocated animals. After seeing some of the vehicles that arrived to collect impala and having spoken to the drivers, we felt that it was highly probable that a fair number of the animals given to these people would have their throats cut and end up as inexpensive biltong, shortly after having left the reserve. The majority of applicants for game were genuine conservationists however and we were very pleased that we could assist them with animals for the restocking of their farms. 

    All successful applicants for game were sent specifications of the type of crate that had to be constructed and fitted onto the backs of their vehicles. The insides of the crates had to be padded with hessian sacks filled with grass, to prevent the animals from injuring themselves. The floor of the crate had to covered in a thick layer of sand to give the animals a secure foothold.

    Farmers were expected to arrive in the morning on the day that they were due to receive their animals. This was to enable Peter Potter to inspect the vehicles and to allow time during the afternoon for last minute alterations to the crates, where it was felt that they were insufficiently padded. Quite regularly, trucks were sent back to Mkhuze village with the instruction that the owners to buy the necessary requirements and effect the required alterations to bring the vehicles up to the required standard for the transportation of the animals. The catching of the animals was always done on what were known as "dark moon nights", the days immediately before the appearance of the new moon, when the nights were at their darkest. Peter would come down from Hluhluwe in his short-wheelbase Landrover, together with three or four experienced catchers and there would always be a second catching vehicle. Terry Oatley would often come down from Ndumu with his Landrover for the capture session but the staff took it in turns to drive the capture vehicles - by far the most exciting place to be during the capture operations.

    In the early evening, following an inspection of the vehicles during the afternoon, the capture staff would assemble outside Singie's office, to discuss the night's operation. It was then that a decision would be made on the area where the capture was to take place and on the route to be followed. We then all set off for the rustic camp to pick up the convey of farmers' vehicles. Having arranged the farm vehicles in the order in which they were to receive their animals, we would set off in convoy from the rustic camp as soon as it was dark enough to start the night's activities.

    Ranger Terry Oatley in one of the impala catching vehicles

    The two capture vehicles were fitted with powerful spotlights on the bumpers and had another two spotlights that plugged into the dashboard. There was a driver, two lamp operators, and three catchers on each of the catching vehicles. These vehicles would set off at the front of the convoy, followed by two suitably padded open Landrovers which would remain back as far as possible from the capture vehicles, to reduce the disturbance factor but remaining within sight of the leading vehicles. The task of these following vehicles was to ferry the captured animals back to the farmers' trucks that had remained behind in convoy, stopping from time to time on the tourist roads, well out of sight of the catching vehicles.

     The catching vehicles would scour the bushveld  with their spotlights on either side of the road, trying to locate animals for capture. Lamp operators in these vehicles would swing their spotlights from side to side, shining their lamps into the bush as the whole convoy slowly proceeded down the road. As soon as they picked up eyes of impala reflected in the light of the lamps, the capture vehicles would roar off into the veld and the chase was on!

    Weaving through the bush, the capture vehicle would race up to the herd ahead, with the spotlights being kept on the animals to dazzle them. As the capture vehicles approached the herd, the catchers would jump off the back, run around into the herd, grab an animal by a back leg and hang on for dear life. Occasionally they managed to get hold of two animals at a time, grabbing a leg in each hand. While the animals were frantically kicking back trying to free themselves, there would be desperate shouts of "Legalela, legalela" (help, help) to get someone to come to their assistance and take over one of the animals. Help having arrived, the impala was held down to have its legs tied together with nylon stockings. It was then loaded onto one of the following vehicles, for ferrying back to the convoy.

    Nylon stockings for securing game had first been used at the Kariba Dam, in what was then Southern Rhodesia, many years before on the game rescue operation known as "Operation Noah". The stockings were plaited into ropes and successfully used to secure a variety of animals. The nylon stockings that we used on our captured impala, had some interesting stories associated with them. A few months before the start of the capture season for the year, an appeal would appear in the press, sent out from the Board's Head Office, asking for old nylon stockings to be donated for use on impala capture. At regular intervals from then on an odd assortment of boxes would arrive in Mkhuze by post, containing nylon stockings of one form or another.  Occasionally a black lace stocking or something similar would be unearthed from one or another of the boxes and, as young rangers, we often speculated on the physical attributes of the ladies who had discarded them!

    For a week or two after each capture session and until we could get around to cleaning up the reserve, odd stockings were to be found lying on the tourist roads around the reserve or caught on thorn trees. Some of the capture team used to roll the stockings up and wear them as caps and these were often pulled off their heads as they passed under low thorn branches. Guards were not the only inhabitants of the reserve that had a use for the discarded stockings. On one of my patrols I saw the remnants of a stocking protruding from a raptor nest in the topmost branches of an Acacia nigrescens tree. I gingerly made my way up the tree to reach the nest, which I later identified as that of a pied crow, to find it neatly lined with several pieces of discarded stocking.

    Shortly after one of our capture sessions, two elderly ladies who were visiting the reserve, met Singie on the road and asked him "What on earth do your young rangers get up to in this reserve, there are nylon stockings lying around all over the place?"  Singie's reply was not recorded.

    The two old guards from the Nagana days, Funwayo (Mahukwana) Mlambo and Khonjwayo Ndhlovu were always in the leading capture vehicles. They acted as guides, as their knowledge of the reserve was unrivalled.  The catching vehicles would often follow a herd of impala into the bush, ending up a considerable distance from the tourist road. The animals would scatter at our approach and the Landrover would go after them, weaving in and out of the bush, often circling back on itself. Everyone's attention was focused on the fleeing animals up ahead and we didn't give much thought to where we were going. When the vehicles finally came to a stop after a protracted chase and the animals had been captured or after the herd had made its escape, we had no idea in which direction the road lay. There was no moon to guide us, the night was dark and,surrounded by bushveld as we were, the countryside all looked the same.

    It was here that Khonjwayo's and Mahukwana's years of experience of working in the reserve at all hours, came to our rescue. Mahukwana only had three words of English(!) - light, lef and stlait (right, left and straight). Setting off to find the tourist road again, Mahukwana would stand on the back of the vehicle and, with his uncanny knowledge of the terrain, call out directions as we weaved our way through the bush - "light, light, lef, lef, stlait, stlait, lef, lef, stlait," and we would be back on tourist road again. The following vehicles would then ferry the impala back to the convoy, where their condition would be checked, before they were loaded into the trucks. Once a farmer had his allocation of animals, he would be given directions back to the entrance road and he would head off home.

    By the end of the 1962 capture season, 1200 impala had been caught, with 332 animals being caught in the month of April alone. The Board had already started experimenting with new methods to catch a variety of animals and 1964 was to be the last year that impala would be caught by hand.

    Due to an improvement in veld conditions, extra care had to be exercised during this final catching session. Grass cover in the reserve had shown a dramatic improvement and the danger of driving over a stump or down an antbear hole was greatly increased.

    It was during 1964 that the use of immobilising drugs, which had first been used successfully in Natal on the squarelipped rhino, was now extended to other species. The year was to be an innovative one for game capture in Mkhuze and indeed in other areas controlled by the Board as well. In February 1964 Rangers John Forrest and John Clarke started their experiments with the darting of impala and in April, achieved their first successes with 100 animals being caught. In April of the same year work on a funnel to capture inyala was started and in June the first attempts to net impala, rather than catch them by hand, was reintroduced. Recently acquired nets were erected in a section of the reserve and with the use of 2 vehicles and 40 labourers a game drive was organised. The results were hardly encouraging - 2 impala were caught! Ken Rochat, a ranger on the game capture team stationed in Umfolozi arrived in the reserve in June to try to catch inyala, using the drug M99 which was proving to be such a success with the capture of squarelipped rhino - his experiments were not successful.

    By 1965 the capture techniques used by the Board's game capture unit had been refined and were becoming more sophisticated. In July of that year, Jan Oelofse, then in charge of capture operations introduced new capture techniques for impala, using the funnel method. The animals were directed into plastic-lined enclosures that funnelled down to a narrow point from which they could be caught. They were loaded into individual crates for transportation, which resulted in far fewer losses than previously when the animals were all bundled together into the back of a truck for transportation to their new homes. Capture techniques were further refined with the introduction of helicopters in 1972 to chase animals into the plastic-lined enclosures. In July of that year 1972, 2086 impala and 396 blue wildebeest were caught in Mkhuze using this method and successfully translocated.

    Game capture activities were, by this time, conducted throughout the year and not confined to the winter months only, as had been the case when the animals had to be caught by hand. In February 1973, one of the hottest months of the year at Mkhuze, with temperatures of over 40°C being regularly recorded, Ranger Stuart Herd assisted Ken Rochat to track three black rhino, in an attempt to catch one of them and move it to a new location.  Having approached closely enough to dart the animal, Stuart had a lucky escape when the darted rhino turned and charged straight towards him. Stuart was upended and was injured in the process, but he had a very lucky escape as the second rhino ran right over him, without trampling him. The capture attempt was successful though and the one animal was removed.

    The successful removal of animals for reintroduction into areas previously devoid of game was a very satisfying activity for the staff of the reserve. Less satisfying was the unenviable task of game control of a different sort that we were faced with in the sixties. The reserve, with its artificial boundaries, could only support a certain number of animals. Both impala and blue wildebeest are prolific breeders and we were obliged to have to shoot animals to reduce their numbers, in order to combat overgrazing and erosion. Our game capture operations at the time could only account for a small percentage of the animals that needed to be removed; the rest had to be shot.

    During the years of the Nagana campaign, when the reserve was under the control of the veterinary authorities, game control had been a regular activity in the reserve. Animals of every description, except for black rhino, were shot on a daily basis, in an attempt to eliminate the tsetse fly. The slaughter, which took place at the time, is reported in the "Nagana" chapter of this book. Following the return of Mkhuze to the Board's control, Colonel Vincent wrote to Singie in December 1956 regarding the question of controlling the number of impala in the reserve. Shortly after this date it was decided that monthly meat rations would be shot in the reserve. These would be supplied to the staff of the Ndumu Game Reserve, the Lake stations of False Bay Park, Fanies Island and Charters Creek, as well as to Kosi Bay which, at that time, fell under the Board's control. As Sordwana Bay National Park was controlled from Mkhuze, a monthly meat supply was supplied to the small number of staff looking after that reserve as well.

    Before 1963, when the 30.06 rifle was introduced, all game control was done with .303 Lee-Enfield rifles, many of them of First World War vintage. I can distinctly remember seeing the date "1918" on at least one of the rifles issued to me for patrol and game control purposes. The rifles, with their heavy wooded stocks, were cumbersome and uncomfortable to carry, but the success achieved with them by game guards such as Mahukwana and Khonjwayo was phenomenal. Both these guards had worked on game control during the Nagana days, when all shooting was done on foot. On Singie's instruction, they would often set out on foot early in the morning to shoot an animal for rations, with their rifles over their shoulders and carrying a sharpened cane knife. Stalking was done on foot and, having shot the animal, it was skilfully gutted with the cane knife. If the guards were not too far from camp, the gutted animal would be tied onto a bushveld sapling with strips of bark, slung onto the guard's shoulder and carried back to the camp, together with the rifle and cane knife. A careful control was exercised on all rounds of ammunition issued to the guards and they were required to account for every round used. The empty cartridge cases had to be retained and produced on their return to headquarters.

    We were initially very pleased to be issued the new 30.06 rifles in 1962, thinking that they would be a big improvement on the old Lee-Enfields.  Singie did have his reservations about their sustained use in game control. He felt that the animals would become "gun-shy" but his concern should rather have been for his rangers, for we soon became far more "gun-shy" of this new weapon than any animal! The rifles were fitted with muzzle breaks, slots cut into the end of the barrels to disperse the gasses as the gun was fired. The muzzle break tended to throw the full detonation of the rifle back towards the person firing the rifle, causing most of us to anticipate the 'big bang' and wince as we pulled the trigger. I had a fortunate escape from serious damage to my ears from using the rifle one-day. Admittedly, due to my own carelessness! Although shooting would later be allowed from vehicles, it was a requirement in the sixties, with very few exceptions, that all game control be done on foot, to avoid the animals associating gunfire with vehicles.

    In those days of relative independence, it had been left to our discretion as to who we supplied meat to and who not. Animals were regularly supplied to local chiefs for important occasions and when a high-ranking police officer or member of the defence force did a detour to Mkhuze to come and pay his respects, we usually knew the real purpose of the visit - venison. Details of animals supplied to anyone outside the Board were recorded in our monthly reports.

    On one such occasion, I had been asked by Singie to rush out and obtain an impala carcass for an important visitor. Driving down one of the management tracks in my Landrover I noticed a lone impala in the veld on the passenger's side of the vehicle. It was standard practice in those days to unbolt the windows from the doors of our Landrovers in hot weather, which I had done. My rifle was usually propped up between the front seats next to me and, picking it up, I fired a shot at the impala from within the cab, and sat in the cab stunned for the next five minutes! The Landrover pickups that we used had unlined aluminium canopies over the passenger compartments. In this instance it had acted as a parabolic reflector, amplifying the sound thrown back by the muzzle break, as I fired. I considered myself very fortunate at the time not to have burst an eardrum or to have damaged my ears in some other way permanently.

    The impracticality of this firearm for game control work was soon realised and following Singie's recommendation the 30.06s were withdrawn. In September we were issued with Sako .222 rifles, fitted with 4-power Weaver telescopic sights to replace them. The game guards continued to use their trusty .303s, particularly for blue wildebeest control. The first month after receiving the new rifles we removed 211 impala, shooting 35 of them in one night in 3 hours. The shooting that we did was not done for pleasure, but was a necessary if somewhat unpleasant aspect of our ranging duties, which we tried to do as efficiently and as speedily as possible.

    While some of the shooting, particularly for staff rations, or for outlying stations was done during the day, most of our game control was done at night with the aid of spotlights. With the cab of the Landrover removed, we could fold the windscreen down and, as we approached a herd of impala, we would switch off the engine and rest the rifle on top of the windscreen. Pressing the stock against the steering wheel, we could obtain a dead rest and place the cross-hairs of the scope on the head of the impala.

    The Weaver scope made our unpleasant task that much easier and their use resulted in very few wounded animals. As we only went for head shots,  the animal either dropped dead in its tracks or got away. This technique also ensured that the carcass ended up with the minimum of damage and all the meat could be used. Another advantage of using these rifles was that as they did not make much noise, it was often possible to take off up to 10 animals out of a single herd.

    Apart from the staff rations for other Parks Board stations, and ourselves, we also supplied meat to Dr Turner for the patients of the Bethesda Hospital, run by the Methodist Church of South Africa at Ubombo and to the S.A. General Mission at Emseleni. An American missionary, Reverend Stevens would fly down once a month in his tiny Piper Cub aircraft, land in the reserve and park his plane on the airstrip near Gwambane. As we shot animals, we would gut them and ferry them back to him, to be loaded onto a sheet of plastic that he had placed in the back of his plane. We loaded as many carcasses as we could and, before he took off, Stevens would strap himself into the cockpit and as he was anxious to obtain the maximum amount of meat possible for his patients, we would push a final animal or two into the plane next to him. He would then take off with a cheery wave, often with the head of a dead impala with glazed eyes on his lap. An abiding memory that I have of Reverend Stevens is waiting for him at the airstrip early one morning with a load of animals and seeing his plane approach. I become alarmed as I saw the plane spin and roll in the air, seemingly completely out of control, before it finally landed safely on the strip. Rushing up him to enquire if he had a problem, he replied laconically in his soft American drawl, "No, everything's fine, I was a little early so I just thought I would practice a few stalls and turns until you guys showed up".

    An indication of the magnitude of the task facing us in the removal of the surplus impala, is reflected in the figures for the removal of these animals during 1963; 80 in July, 218 in August, 448 in September and 574 in October 1963 - over 1200 animals in three months. In November 1963 Research Officer Greg Stewart from Hluhluwe paid a visit to Mkhuze to obtain an estimate of the existing impala population and discuss further game removal figures. He estimated that there were over 14000 impala in the reserve and although I did not agree with his figures, it was decided to intensify the night shooting campaign for the removal of impala. In addition to the .222s being used a 12-bore shotgun was introduced as well. Local inhabitants living around the reserve benefited from the increased shooting that was taking place and 367 impala were distributed to the residents through the Bantu Affairs Department and mission stations. Another development around this time was the granting of permission to an Empangeni firm, to cull 35 impala and 2 blue wildebeest for experimental canning. The enterprise was not a success however and nothing came of it. In January 1964, a marketing venture of a different sort was undertaken, when 35 impala were shot for the Durban market. Shooting went on until 01h15 when I left with the lorry-load of meat to arrive at the market at 06h00 and hand the animals over to a market agent. All were sold within 5 minutes at a price of 8 cents per pound! By November 1964, 5026 impala of the target figure of 7000 animals had been removed from the reserve during the preceding 12 months and further animals to shoot were becoming difficult to find.

    I had already left the reserve for Head Office, when warthog control was started in March 1966. The painful lessons learnt in 1963 regarding the unsuitability of the 30.06 rifle for game control were apparently forgotten, for the rifle was reintroduced for warthog control. Ranger Willie Willox who was on the task at the time, soon found the rifle to be completely unsatisfactory for the purpose and echoed the same complaints in his monthly reports as we had raised.

    By 1978 the capture of animals, rather than the shooting of them had become a priority. It was obviously far more satisfactory to be able to move the animals out of the reserve alive than to have to destroy them. Of the 1900 impala removed from the reserve that year, 703 were captured and translocated. Other animals removed from the reserve that year included 372 blue wildebeest, 123 warthog, 214 inyala and 20 kudu. The following year the Board took the decision to sell the carcasses of culled impala to local residents.

    It was unfortunately not possible though to capture all the animals that needed to be removed alive, which the Board would have preferred to do. In October 1979, game removal proposals for 1980 were discussed at a management meeting, when it was decided to increase the removal figures. The reserve was in the grip of a severe drought and urgent action had to be taken to avoid a serious overgrazing problem. It was agreed that an attempt would be made to remove 5000 impala, 400 blue wildebeest, 500 inyala and 400 warthog. It was difficult to determine exactly how many animals should be removed. Warden Mark Astrup recorded in his report at the end of December 1979, that "we do not, as yet, have an accurate estimate of game population numbers".

    In June 1981 a new venture for the Board was the awarding of a tender to S.A. Venison for the purchasing of all the disposable game carcasses shot in the reserve. The Board's responsibility was to shoot and bleed the animals before they were handed over to S.A. Venison for skinning and further preparation for processing, using the Board's skinning shed. Prices obtained for the meat were considerably better than the 8 cents a pound, which I had obtained at the Durban Market for the consignment of meat sold there in 1964. From 28 May to 4 June 1981 the total weight of impala and nyala meat sold from the Mkhuze Game Reserve amounted to:

    A grade impala 29419 kg @ R2,11 per kg                        R62074,09

    A grade inyala 10027 kg @ R1,92 per kg                         R19251,84

    B grade carcasses 153 kg @ R1,00 per kg                          R153,00


                                                                                Total R81478,93  

    During the same period, culling took place on Nxwala State Lands when an additional 400 impala and 15 inyala were culled and sold to S.A. Venison. Unseasonable rains in the state lands hampered this particular venture. The Department of Community Development, which was in control of Nxwala at the time, planned to return to the area in July to complete their removal target of 1200 impala, 100 blue wildebeest and 50 inyala.

    Since those days of extensive game control, the emphasis of the Board's game management programme has now become very much more focused on the live removal of game rather than on its destruction. Over the years the techniques used by the Board have been extensively revised and improved and capture methods have now become extremely sophisticated compared to our early efforts of the sixties, however that is a story which still remains to be told.  The revenue generated by the Board's capture activities formed a major proportion of its budget before the amalgamation with the KwaZulu Dept of Nature Conservation, with sales at the annual game auction topping over 8 million Rand per annum. With the drastic reduction of the state subsidy given to nature conservation in this province, game capture and the sale of live animals will have to assume a role of ever-increasing importance in providing funds for the running of our reserves.