Thanks to the tireless fundraising work of our PI Russell, and to a generous grant from Durham University, the Primate and Predator Project now has a vehicle to call its own!
We are lucky that the project already owns a quad bike, which is a very quick and efficient way of traversing the local area, but it is rather limited in its capacity to drive legally on the road, to transport multiple passengers, to carry more equipment than can be fit in a backpack or to provide any protection while checking leopard traps. So previously, whenever we needed access to a vehicle to visit local landowners, bait or check traps, or to otherwise move equipment or people, we had to ask to borrow Lajuma’s bakkie. Ian and Oldrich have always been extremely accommodating, but their old bakkie is always in demand for hauling around building supplies, firewood, beds or humans. And the roads here are extremely punishing, resulting in frequent down time for repairs. So its great to have the ability to conduct our research activities whenever needed without the need to put extra pressure on Lajuma’s bakkie.
So, after we got the funding we scoured the internet and local dealerships, and came across the only 4×4 double cab at our price point in the whole of the Limpopo province: a 2009 Nissan Hardbody from Gauteng that we picked up in Polokwane. Say hello to our new ride!