The past months have brought scanty rains to the northern Namib desert. However, wildlife have started returning to the ephemeral riverbeds. In addition to lions, oryx, giraffe, ostrich, and elephants have been seen moving through the landscape. Dr. Flip Stander, who has remained steadfast in monitoring the desert-adapted lion population during the ongoing lockdown recently reported that all residents lions are looking well-fed and healthy. Good news!
Additionally, Dr. Stander provided some great photos of a leopard spotted near the Wilderness Safaris Hoanib camp. With the slow down in tourism and many staff having returned to their homes for the foreseeable future, tourist lodges are quieter than ever. Otherwise skittish animals are increasingly coming to investigate. One of the great pleasures of monitoring wildlife is watching how individuals and groups respond to novel circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global societal transformations offer a unique chance to gain new insights into wild species.