Our group adopted two small Acacia Karoo “Thorn” trees for the Aquila Game Preserve tree restoration project this morning. Timothy, our ranger-guide and tree caregiver drove us out to a protected site where we planted them. The trees will take 10 years to mature. They will offer a critical food source for the Reserves’ future population of giraffes. Most of the Karoo’s brush is too low for giraffes. The giraffe has the largest heart of any land mammal and therefore needs to keep its head above its heart in order to avoid damaging its brain. Giraffes can actually suffer and die from aneurisms and comas if their heads are too low for too long! Most of us did not know this.
Once the trees that we planted are mature, they will provide nutritious and tasty leaves for the giraffes’ diets. Aquila currently only has one giraffe on the preserve (a female), which is 3 meters high and we did not get to see her during our visit. Timothy provided water with medicine/nutrients in it, dung fertilizers, and shovels and we did the planting. We added them to a row of trees just planted within the last three months.
Tim will water and care for them, talk to them, and provide lots of love and care while we are away. He invited us to come back and visit them anytime. If any of you get to South Africa, you can visit the trees and help add more to the grove! You could even make a donation online to the the Aquila Safari Game Preserve to build the grove of trees faster. As we departed our tree planting ceremony, an eagle soared high above us–a blessing, indeed!
More safari stories to come from others…