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  1. #1
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    Default Electric Lion Fence

    Lots have been written about lions at Mabua and the fears of something bad about to happen and all the consequences... People talk of fire crackers, chasing the lions off with cars and playing Celine Dion music. I recently tried something and would like to hear if there is more experience in this regard:

    Since our previous visit at Mabua (campsite 2) when lions deprived us of our lovely evening meal but paid for it by being photographed closely, we returned prepared this June. I borrowed a portable electric fence. This thing runs off a 12v battery, with a single white nylon band interlaced with electric wires being pitched around your campsite on fibreglass poles with adjustable isolaters. Easy to pitch- the poles with one sharp end are driven into the ground with a rubber hamer easily. Takes 10 minutes or less.

    So we arrive the first night at Lesholoage 2 and decide, naah, not tonight. Tomorrow we'll pitch the fence. It feels a bit silly anyway- everybody lives behind electric fences, why do it when you go on holiday??!
    Needless to say, just when the feast was prepared, enters the pride. The lions really were very, very naughty- they played with and destroyed quite a few camp items and gave us a good territorial show-off display. It was beautiful to whatch two young ones taking turns to savage a lovely camping chair which Jeremy borrowed from his granny- he actually returned the remnants to her. The big male licked at the braai grid still on a very warm fire showing no respect for civilisation. The male also tugged at the ropes of the Oz-tent right next to the one I was lying in and completely ripped off the rope from the tent. He licked the mosquito-gauze leaving quite an impression.
    We also share the opinion that the lions are at risk of being shot because we are trespassing in their territory, wrongfully attracting them with the smell of our food and who knows what next. As much as we enjoy watching them so closely, we realise they should be deterred. The behavior of the animals demonstrates a lack of natural fear for humans and who can blame them? There are campers every single night and I am sure they visit a different camp every night. Sometimes they find water in the showers, sometimes food hastily abandoned and other times just enjoy the interaction with people and their toys.

    So, the next day we pitch the fence. I get a hefty shock myself testing the effect close to the power unit. My gosh, it feels like being kicked in the chest by a mule! It is effective on dogs, horses and cattle but I am a bit nervous about what a big male lion will do when he is being insulted like that...

    So, the next six nights at Polentswa and Rooiputs, no visit from any large carnivore. No tracks in the morning and no yelps at night. I still dont know if it works.

    Anybody with personal experience? If this works, and many campers use it, the lions should learn quickly, for their and our goodwill.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rofmos View Post
    People talk of fire crackers, chasing the lions off with cars and playing Celine Dion music.
    I find justine bieber works better than celine dion

    But seriously, why would you WANT to keep the lions away?!....



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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyrag View Post
    I find justine bieber works better than celine dion

    But seriously, why would you WANT to keep the lions away?!....
    My point Andy ,I wrote a whole story about this very fact ,but deleted it !!

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    Andyrag and Puma, I am sure that you old Botswana hands feel that you are experienced enough to stay out of trouble with lion visitors in camp. One does need to consider that not all campers have your experience and confidence.

    Lions merely passing through a camp are not the issue for me. It is when they display the type of behavior brought on by human habituation that I start to be concerned about the safety of campers, especially those with smaller children, or when there are a few empty bottles lying around. I am sure many of us enjoy a few toots when relaxing in the bush.

    I think the danger arises when the lions enter the camp when the occupants are still up and about and blinded by the bright camping lights that many use. The potential for problems is obvious. A visit whilst all are safely ensconced in their tents is not my concern.

    I also shudder to think that I would ever have to deploy an electric fence to feel safe. For those that see the need, perhaps having it operational whilst still up and about camp might be a compromise, to be taken down once in bed. I am not convinced it would make a difference though.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    I think we must change the word "campers" to BUSH LOVERS. The connetation says it all; love the bush as it is and what you get out of it. Why go there if you want to change something. One can go to fenced in camps to be campers;
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    i shudder to think of the reaction of a lion when it gets 'bitten' on the nose by something unknown, might just p*ss them off...

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    When we where there we pitched shade netting around the entire camp. At Bosobogolo camp 1 the netting kept the Spotted hyenas (3 of them) out of the camp site. They where circling the camp for about an hour or two while we played bored games hahaha

    The next place we stayed was Kaa camp 2. Did the same with all the shade netting.

    While everybody was bussy serving up the food I went to the Loo quickly. Exit the shade netting wall and start walking the when I pointed the light just past the bathroom I saw the 2 yellow eyes of the lion female sitting under the bush just behind the toilets.... about 10-13steps away from me....

    To say the least I kept the light on her, took Two steps left, ONE step back and TWO steps to the Right... (just not to step in the pile of poo I left there) and backed into the camp...

    So that night all 6 of us had dinner in the caravan....

    I think people should just be vigilant and keep an eye open.... the shade netting we put up was 1.5m and did not spoil our view and took 2 people 30min to put up 30m worth of shade netting....

    Our closest neighbor's are still not within sight, you cant hear them, you can still see the beautiful sunset from your chair and you dont have to worry too much about safety...

    Say what you will these are wild animals and they are unpredictable.

    There have been cases as conveyed by the game ranger at Nossob about tents being teared appart by lions at Mabua and Kaa as well as people sitting around a fire and a heyna running in and grabbing a 2 year old child by the head and running off.

    Rather have it and not need it. Than need it and not have it.
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    Shees....what next?

    Personal body gaurds when goin to the loo?
    Movement detectors with huge spot lights?
    Armed reaction force on standby incase there is a mouse in your camp?

    I do not get this? I go there in the hope that I have encouters like this!

    Seriously, I do not want to sound like brave heart, but if you are scared of these things, do not camp there. Go to SANPARKS where every thing is behind fences.

    I do not do bungee jumping because I do not like heights. Why then would I push myself to do it but try and find ways to make me feel more safe Just rather then stay away from it?

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regard View Post
    Shees....what next?

    Personal body gaurds when goin to the loo?
    Movement detectors with huge spot lights?
    Armed reaction force on standby incase there is a mouse in your camp?

    I do not get this? I go there in the hope that I have encouters like this!

    Seriously, I do not want to sound like brave heart, but if you are scared of these things, do not camp there. Go to SANPARKS where every thing is behind fences.

    I do not do bungee jumping because I do not like heights. Why then would I push myself to do it but try and find ways to make me feel more safe Just rather then stay away from it?
    This was my reaction untill it happend to me/us. My uncle and aunt is 70s my parents are 60s they cant just jump in a tree or sprint to a car.

    We love the secluded nature of camping there and we want to enjoy it for the same reasons you want to... I agree a electric fence is over kill maybe, but you would probably see 30m of shade netting as overkill as well....

    We all go there for the same reasons. We just have different camping setups to suite our needs.

    If it wasn't for my aunt insisting we put up shade netting. The hyena's could have destroyed our camp. And I MIGHT not have been stading here due to a female lion.... (they are wild animals, nobody can predict what can happend)
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    Off course anyone can enjoy nature as they see fit. The same goes for anyone with an opinion about post content on this forum.
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    Look, I do not want to sound like a chop...and I will usually be the first to say "each to their own".

    But like I said. If I know that I do not feel comfortable with a certain situation or I am scared of a certain situation, why would I "endanger" myself to still do that or go there? Just because my friends said so and every one els is doing it?


    There are many other beautifull secluded spots where there are no free ranging predators.

    Maybe I feel so strong about this because I have the same experience with mountain biking. It became a fashion, the new golf. While the most of us can't wait to jump from big drop-offs and fly down massive boulders you get these with the most expensive bikes but they walk done paved inclines....why then do it

    If you do not like what is being offered maybe considder something els?

    I guess this will end up in the same boat as the "camping with thousands of spot lights" and "camping with generators" and "camping but taking your DSTV with" argument....

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    Okay ,there is a solution to this problem ,might be only temporary meassure ,I just spent 4 weeks in the Chobe area and the wild life dept came every night to the area where I was staying and fired 2 or 3 shots into the air ,this chased all the buffalo and elephant back up the sand dune for a few hours ,yes they did return later ,only to be chased again ,after a week or so ,they stopped coming down the dune to the main road ,so what I am suggesting is ,wild life must put a few rangers on stand by in those camps that have this lion problem and do the same ,it will make them retreat ,and eventually they will give up going there .I have see this work in Zim before .

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    From my experience with lions that are persistant about breaking boundries ,is to with a rifle like the rangers will do ,but they must fisically chase them on foot to make them run away ,and at the same time fire the shots into the air ,for some reason they react better to been chased in ths manner .
    So when ever I have had a problem from a lion or hyena ,I tae a long stick with a bright colour cloth tied to it and run after the animal shouting and beating the stick into the ground or on to a tree,yes they do retreat fast ,but one must have a bit of nerve to do this .Not for the normal campers I would say .

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    The Cape baboons also just scavenged in the beginning but lately they are attacking people for food.

    I think fences around campsites is the logic thing. I know you go there to be in the wild and we all want that but not all campers are experienced and alert as some of you and a fatal incident is almost unavoidable in the near future. It's just a matter of time. The consequences for that particular lion will be the unthinkable and we also don't want to create a Tsavo lion there. I rather watch a lion through a fence at my campsite than not at all. Having only the option one day of going there with a tour operator during the day or some other drastic steps they might try to avoid another incident just doesn't sound like a good alternative. Proactive measurements should be taken here.
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    Stan seems to get the point. Its about conservation. It is about some drunk person or child getting hurt by a lion who becomes too comfortable with people and then the lions will pay. We seemingly are all experienced bush lovers who love to see these animals close up, including me and my family. I certainly dont WANT to chase them off. I would like them to respect boundaries as WILD lions used to do. Campers messed up their behaviour. I cant imagine shooting fire crackers at them and would NEVER play Celine Dion. Ever.
    OK, if no one else has experience with this, I will continue this experiment and report back.
    It is done in Canada and Alaska where bears are a much bigger problem than our carnivores.

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    its only a matter of time before the Lions in Mabua kill someone. then its not going to be fun and games anymore. sure we go there because its wild, but Wild Lions generally have a healthy fear of humans and fire. these Lions seem to have lost that fear and when that happens things go from scary to deadly very, very quickly.
    Living in the land Down Under.

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    and this is why South African 'game parks' are reduced to little more than big zoos - complete with restaurants and a/c for your 'wild' experience... but I suppose the will of the mediocre majority must prevail as always..

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    Quote Originally Posted by rat View Post
    and this is why South African 'game parks' are reduced to little more than big zoos - complete with restaurants and a/c for your 'wild' experience... but I suppose the will of the mediocre majority must prevail as always..
    Folks think the fences are to keep the predators out..... think again it is to keep people in. I have seen some scary stuff one chop had his little 4y old girl feed the "doggie" bones through the fence worst part was she had her arm through te mesh up to her elbow and the "doggie" was a spotted hyena When I approached him he could not see the wrong or the danger to his daughter .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma 130 ADJ View Post
    Okay ,there is a solution to this problem ,might be only temporary meassure ,I just spent 4 weeks in the Chobe area and the wild life dept came every night to the area where I was staying and fired 2 or 3 shots into the air ,this chased all the buffalo and elephant back up the sand dune for a few hours ,yes they did return later ,only to be chased again ,after a week or so ,they stopped coming down the dune to the main road ,so what I am suggesting is ,wild life must put a few rangers on stand by in those camps that have this lion problem and do the same ,it will make them retreat ,and eventually they will give up going there .I have see this work in Zim before .
    Surely you are joking, right!!
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    Default Electric Lion Fence

    Rofmos, I would also not play Celine Dion music at Lions. If it gets lost in translation it may sound like Feline Lion. Then you might be in real trouble!

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