Keith Connelly

NAME: Keith Connelly





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Murder Most Foul

This diary entry took place at Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

We have all heard the stories, told the stories & stated the facts about the Bushbuck....the meek, mild, timid and shy antelope with an almost Jekyll & Hyde personality. We always share with guests this underwhelming spiral horned antelope's more sinister side..How many hunters have been on the wrong side of their sabre like horns....the tales of the poacher that under estimated Bambi in the snare and ended up head butted out of his shoes and off to meet his maker?

In reality however when most visitors encounter the Bushbuck on their game drives or walks they certainly can't be blamed for being at least a little sceptical of these tales and of the bushbuck's unchained aggression in certain circumstances. After this morning's drives the sceptical amongst my guests will never again be left wondering as to the validly of interpretations of the Bushbuck's darker side.

Receiving a radio call that a colleague had located a crash of five White Rhino early in the drive I made my way to the area. Sadly as is often the case as I entered the sighting and bypassed two Bushbuck rams casually feeding nearby, without giving them a second glance! Little did I know this seemingly uninteresting sighting would become the sighting of the day and possibly the month!

While viewing the rhino's I pointed out to the guests what looked to be a fairly normal territorial dispute between the said Bushbuck after saying that normally most animals will try and avoid serious injury in these situations..Murphy as he so often does was about to prove me wrong!

The weaker smaller Bushbuck appeared to be outmatched and probably realised this himself and began to take a submissive posture while trying to beat a hasty retreat. However the soon to be victor filled with what would be only described by one of my guests as "a vicious rage" would not let the defeated ram off so easy. He began an absolutely insane testosterone driven assault on the rump of the unfortunate victim repeatedly goring him while the savaged ram was trying fruitlessly to evade the spiralled horns. Within a matter of seconds all attention had shifted from the rhino's to the battle, not wanting to move and loose my visual I stayed put and viewed from a distance. The defeated ram's back legs gave in and collapsed while still propping himself up the enraged Ram was charging in from all sides deeply penetrating the doomed ram in the abdomen eventually tossing him through the air and leaving him upside down with his legs in the air.

Clearly the badly gored ram was on his way out but the adrenaline was surely flowing in the victor and his attacks didn't stop he kept goring and tossing the nearly dead ram. Eventually the crazed ram withdrew slightly but soon after the victim gave one last muscular twitch and that was enough to send the Tyson of Bushbucks into another frenzy... repeatedly taking run ups and deeply goring the dead buck. He relented eventually but did not move out of an attack position and stayed within half a meter of the deceased buck for nearly 8 minutes.

This was truly one of my most memorable guiding experiences the raw aggression was really something to behold. It left my guests utterly shocked and awed... and this from an animal that one of my guests later confessed to thinking looked remarkably like a 'tame goat' at the time.

On a later drive another guest that after seeing a Bushbuck pass by the vehicle asked maybe rather tongue in cheek whether we were safe in the Land Cruiser...HAHAHA point proven....Murder Most Foul indeed!

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