On the 16/06/2005, before the Arbour Day planting at the Westlake Wetlands Garden, those present saw for the first time the spoor of a Grysbok at the pond below the pathway.
Grysbok footprint the dark indent in the middle.
Grysbok footprint indented in the soft mud, a closer view.
Caracal or Rooikat (Caracal caracal) Seen for the first time in January 2009, on a night count in the Nature Reserve area.
On the evening of 30/10/2003 Clifford Dorse, added a new mammal to the Nature Reserve mammal list. This was in the form of a Cape Fox!
Cape Hare (Lepus capensis)
Cape Hare being reintroduced onto Park Island in Sept 2004.
This could have been one
of the offspring from the hares released.
On 12/03/2015 - An exciting Brants Climbing Mouse
(Dendromus mesomelas) a first record for the Zandvlei Nature Reserve was recorded
on a night count by the Reserve staff reported by Dalton Gibbs.
Brants Climbing Mouse 01. Brants Climbing Mouse 02.
Brants Climbing Mouse 03.
On 13/12/2008 - Bowen Boshier found these 2 blind mice, Four Striped Mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio), at Grysbok Park.
The squealing pups. An adult.
Moles and Mole Rats
Cape Dune Mole Rat (Bathyergus suillus) They often are seen running around above ground in mid winter during or soon after heavy rains. Many due to the ground being water logged.
Una Hartley's observations and photographs of this mole's activiities at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve, in the so called "designated Road Reserve" just off Henley Road.
Common (African) Mole Rat ( Cryptomys hottentotus)
This unusal occurrence of the mole coming out of its burrow and digging up the roots of grass (kukuyu) in the compacted gravel roadway and then returning with a mouthful of roots to the burrow. This was repeated numerous times and was recorded at 14h00 in cloudy weather, with imminent rain.
number of motor cars had passed over the site a few minutes before, and
within 1 meter of the burrow entrance in the thick kukuyu grass on the
verge of the road.
The duration of the observation was about 10 –15 minutes, before we had to get on with the task of the afternoon, of removing the alien (exotic) vegetation from the Nature Reserve.
22/07/2011 - John Fowkes reports We recently had a confrontation between a Water Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus) and a Helmeted Guineafowl on our lawn in Lakeside.
Water Mongoose trying to go about its business quietly, but no such luck
with a very noisy
They faced off and then the
Mongoose walked away.
Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)
04/05/2016 - Angus and Frances Hemp report "We saw 3 otters swimming past our jetty off Zee Close in the Marina and think they were two adults and a juvenile. Seen at about 9am". updated 07/05/2016.
11/09/2013 - Yvonne Bulgen reports "When out paddling with my dog on the canoe in Zandvlei recently, 2 otters popped their heads out of the water and appeared to be playing a game with my dog, a large Alsatian. They seem to like to interact with dogs, as this is not the first time I have had encounters with the otters. It has happened before when walking the dogs early in the morning along the banks of the vlei".
17/07/2013 - Yvonne Bulgen reports "Only heard this story last week - why it was never shared before with the community is baffling…
Last winter an otter made his home for 3 days in a house in Uxbridge Road. The owner, Ian, has high security fencing and is a dog owner (the dogs sleep inside). For two previous evenings could not understand why is his dogs were so agitated and on the third evening carefully walked outside with his gun (is a law enforcement officer) and torch.
To his surprise, he saw a large male Cape Clawless Otter swimming his his pool! He called over to his neighbour, who when he popped his head over Ian’s wall was shocked to see the same otter scaling the wall between their properties, going over Trevor’s wall & rapidly waddling down Uxbridge Road to the vlei!
21/06/2012 - Kim from Scenic
South reports One of the Zandvlei Otter pups had to be euthenaised after
being run over by a motor car.
2012 - Nicola
Okes is doing a research project (UCT) on Cape Clawless Otters of the Cape
Peninsula. She needs your sightings, photographs, observations and possible
interactions with any otters in your area. The project will last for 3 years.
A family group of father, mother and juvenile.
The family group looking for breakfast.
Youngster with its mother.
24/12/2010 - Cassy Sheasby reports "We released this juvenile Cape Clawless Otter in the Central Pan of the Reserve today. It was found in the Henley Road area.
09 Sept 2009 - Peter
Slingsby reports "While walking my dogs at 5 pm, behind the reeds off the point where the scout base is, I spotted an animal in the water. I thought at first it was a dog - but it turned out to be an otter
(of the Cape Clawless kind). My son saw one in a similar place more than ten years ago, but it's the first I've seen there. Have you had any other
This young Cape Clawless Otter was found in the Westlake River in the Kirstenhof area in December 2007. It was sighted a number of times away from the river in peoples gardens, and eventually the SPCA were called and it was taken to the Grassy Park dept.
Please call (Zandvlei Nature Reserve) on 021 701 7542 if you find any animal away from its natural habitat.
Cape Clawless Otters on Uitsig Peninsula again...
At last I grabbed my camera and took a picture of an otter in my garden. I am forwarding it nevertheless, because they are around so often, and I am always talking about it. Although recently, I have stopped doing so because I thought that the non - production of proof would lead people to think I was imagining it.
Cape Clawless Otter in Lucia's garden
This morning I saw Cherry
Giljam on Park Island and she told me her story of 6 otters in her garden.
PS: I have a theory, which I chatted to Cherry about,
from reports of sightings, it seems the otters favour gardens that have large dogs.
I think that if otters do tend to show themselves more in gardens with big
dogs, could it be that they are always trying to stamp their authority on
Cape Clawless Otters on Uitsig Peninsula
Cape Clawless Otters
Lucia Rodrigues reports "On Wednesday morning 23rd May 2007 very early, before dawn, I was rudely awakened by my barking dogs, who sleep inside at night. By their frantic tone, I knew the otters had returned to my garden, as they are wont to do at this time of year.
Opening a window and peering into the gloomy darkness, I spotted several shapes rollicking and rolling about in my garden. I counted five otters, two smaller than the rest. This time though, their behaviour was different. Normally the hiss, whistle and snap at each other playfully, rolling about and standing up on their hind legs from time to time to sniff the air and look around.
This morning however two of the larger otters seemed to be fighting, grunting and yeowling, rolling into the water, leaping back out again. Their calls reverberated across the water and woke some of my neighbours. After a few minutes they grew silent, seemed to disperse, but not for long before the whole performance started up again. The fighting seemed quite ferocious and I feared it would not stop until one was badly injured. But after about 20 minutes they seemed to have settled their differences and magically slipped silently away.
I am always left with a feeling of having dreamt it all. Such commotion one minute and all gone the next. Still not sure what it was all about, but imagine it could have been a territorial fight?"
Cape Clawless Otter
An observation at Zandvlei
At about 21h00, on Wednesday the 20th August 2003, a strange call drew me outside. It was a very still and cold evening. I walked out onto my patio that is raised about two feet off the lawn. My German Shepherd seemed agitated and she indicated that there was something in the garden. With the patio light on, I saw what I first took to be four large cats, bounding towards me from around the corner of my house. I immediately saw I was mistaken, because clearly they were otters!
They kept on bouncing up onto their hind legs, loudly sniffing the air and then lying flat on the lawn wriggling on their bellies and rubbing the underside of their jaws on the grass like dogs often do.
I have lived here since 1987 and during the first few years used to see an otter every once in a while. Always after dark and always on clear still evenings. It could be that the stillness made it easier to notice them. I mostly noticed them in the water and only once before had two fighting (I assumed, because it did not look friendly) on my lawn in the early hours of the morning. But for years now, as more development has taken place, I have not seen them.
This was a most thrilling experience.
A juvenile Porcupine (Hystrix africaeustralis) being handled to educate people about these animals, found at Zandvlei and on the Muizenberg and Steenberg mountains.
On 22/06/2016 a Cape Fur Seal was
seen by Frances and Angus Hemp in the Marina canal where they live. We thought
it may have been an otter at first but then a flipper appeared above the water.
On 23/07/2014 a Cape Fur Seal was seen having a feast on the fish opposite the Imperial Yacht Club at about 13h30. This was during a ZEMF meeting. There were many cormorants also fishing in pods. The water was very turbid from the catchment ingress after the heavy rains experienced in the last week.
On 06/04/2012 this
Cape Fur Seal was having a feast in the channel with the
Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) - Una Hartley reported seeing a Cape Fur Seal swim over the rubble weir near the Royal Road bridge at about 18h00 on 26/07/2007.