Hamish Currie, Ted Reilly and Mick Reilly visited Vaalwater


Hamish Currie, Ted Reilly and Mick Reilly visited Vaalwater in the Waterberg area  to attend a game sale with the specific intention of purchasing two Roan bulls for the Swazi Roan project.

The animals on sale originated from the Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province. This is one of the last remaining indigenous populations of Roan in South Africa the other being the Kruger National Park where only about sixty animals remain. Back to Africa was desirous of sourcing these animals because of their genetic purity and their known resistance to the fatal tick born disease Theleriosis. All the animals on sale were in a very debilitated condition as a result of them enduring a harsh winter. Some were visibly traumatized as a result of being captured. All were wild animals that survived in the wild with very limited management. They were captured two weeks before and put into the Ol Jaco bomas at Vaalwater. The sale was conducted on the 28th of August. Two bulls were purchased.

Due to their debilitated condition a decision was made to transfer them to the Mpatamacha bomas close by where they could rest and gain condition before transferring them to Swaziland.  We believe this purchase is a major step in the progression of this project and we are hopeful these genes will enhance the genetic integrity of the animals in the project giving the animals the best chance of survival in the wild.

The last Roan died in Swaziland in 1961. As a result of Back to Africa’s efforts there are now more than thirty Roan Antelope in the Kingdom. These animals are derived from Ugandan genetic origin.

We recently received a photograph of a Roan Antelope hunted near the Black Mbuluzi river near the present Hlane National Park in Swaziland. This photograph was take on the 11th of November 1920 and proves that this species occurred naturally in the Swazi lowveld in the summer months when tick levels are at their highest. Imported Roan will die of theileriosis under these conditions proving that genetic issues are important for survival.

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