Johan’s Diary – July 15, 2016
I got up fairly early this morning, before 8:00am. I went outside and had breakfast in the sun, where it was quite windy but nice. After breakfast I went up to the Lööf Foundation Lion Lagoon enclosure to see Mandla and Isibindi, however I could not find them as they were hiding from me. I went down to Mela’s enclosure instead and talked with her for a bit. I then returned to Sophie and had coffee with her while she ate breakfast. After breakfast Sophie went with Andi and the two Norwegian volunteer girls to get two horses. These were old horses that needed to be put down, so Andi shot them and brought them back to the farm in a trailer behind the car. This will provide food for the lions on the farm for up to a week and a half.
While they were away collecting the horses I stayed behind on the farm to cut iron bars for the construction of a wooden deck used for the tent camp Andi is creating. I also cleaned up since we had the inauguration and party for our enclosure yesterday. The plan was that I would help butcher the horses once Sophie, Andi and the Norwegian girls returned. However before they got back, staff came running saying they needed help with a bush fire. I went with them in a truck that was equipped with a water tank and pump to go and stop the fire. The fire was not very close to the farm; about two kilometers away but you could see it over the field. I could tell by the reaction of Andi’s staff that there was a hurry to get this fire under control. It has been quite windy today so the fire was spreading quickly and getting bigger. There were many active people helping us get the fire under control, as there is an unofficial local organization of surrounding farmers who communicate when there is a fire and everyone comes out to help if they can. The fire started because one local farmer had started a firebreak and it got out of control due to the wind.
Thankfully they managed to stop the fire before it reached any houses or the school in Swinburne, as it was getting dangerously close. Around 3:00 this afternoon the fire was finally under control. Sophie and I are now headed back to the farm to babysit Carl, as Andi and her staff are very busy with other duties. I am sure we will sleep very well tonight after such an exciting day!
Lööf Foundation representative