Rocky the hitchhiking dassie escapes nature reserve

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 18 December 2019

A dassie, or rock hyrax, recently escaped from the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve in the Western Cape’s Koue Bokkeveld and travelled 170 kilometres to the town of Worcester.

The Kagga Kamma reserve is home to many rock hyrax families, but one of the dassies, affectionately dubbed ‘Rocky the Hairy Houdini’ climbed into the undercarriage of a vehicle belonging to the Du Toit family, who’s been holidaying at the reserve in mid-November. When they set off on their journey home to Worcester, Rocky snuck in for the two-and-a-half hour ride.

Rocky journeyed with the family up into the Cederberg mountain range and through Die Dorp Op Die Berg before descending into the fruit-producing town of Ceres; they arrived at their home in Worcester unaware of the little dassie tucked away beneath their car.

A few days had passed before the Du Toit family discovered their stowaway. Rocky made his presence known, as dassies are known to do with their hitch-pitched calls, and the Kagga Kamma team was called in.

Kagga Kamma ranger Jason Scholtz arrived back home in the Cederberg with little Rocky on the passenger seat, in an aerated wine box. Reserve staff recall the moment Ranger Jason opened the box and a chuffed Rocky peered out, before bounding across the grass towards the other rock hyraxes a few metres away. That’s one road trip Rocky will never forget!

Featured image: Unsplash

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