Last week saw Rox and Faust working in the Kruger National Park looking for Pepperbark Trees (Warburgia salutaris) in the far Eastern reaches of the Soutpansberg. It is under threat due to unsustainable harvesting for the traditional medicine markets, and the numbers are dwindling.
Working on plants was a first for us and is certainly a challenge, but one that Faust rose to in predictably good fashion. Having the experience of working tricky targets with no easy source of the scent, he did very well at piecing together the smells he picked up in the field. The smell of a small tree in a bag is quite different from the huge cloud of scent coming from a grove of tall trees.
The terrain was very hilly, steep and with rocky footing, so rewards were difficult to deliver, but thankfully Faust is happy to even just work to be allowed to hold his ball. Playing tugger on those slopes would have been dangerous to say the least! We were plagued by pepper ticks, despite trying all manner of repellents, and we were relieved to get rid of them when we got home. Watch this space for the next chapter in the Pepper Bark saga!