The Egg Walker
Operational logistics for the #Bred4theWild harvest team are obviously quite specific to each nest site. The challenge is always to get the team safely up to the Bearded vulture breeding site and then get the egg safely back down. In this situation it involved two different ‘modes of transport’.
For our final harvest, a two-hour horse ride got our team up to the the cliff were Charl successfully abseiled to the nest and safely retrieved the smaller of the two eggs. So far so good! The jarring movement of a horse ride is, however, a bit rough on the sensitive egg. So, as we mentioned in the last post, we recruited the services of high altitude athlete, Spurgeon Flemington to walk it out.
Spurge needed to not only find the shortest and fastest route over the eight odd kilometers to the nearest road, but to also locomote with a smooth action to absorb as much concussion as possible into his own body. This he did with skill, making it down the mountain in a record time of 1hr23 and beating the horseback team by a good 40 minutes!
We plan our harvests for every possible eventuality and it has seemed that, this season, we have managed hit every conceivable pothole. (Metaphorically speaking, of course, as our drivers are pretty careful!). Spurge arrived back at the base-camp, to find that the 12V battery powering the incubator had died prematurely, leaving the vital piece of equipment stone cold.
Keeping the egg at the right temperature is of course imperative to successfully transport it from nest to incubating room. So Spurge, thinking on his feet, had to implement both Plan B (plugging the imported machine through an adapter into the mains power supply) and Plan C, holding the affected egg against his belly until the incubator reached temperature. And that……all in a ‘less than normal’ days work!