Daily activity 85: The Black Mambas

July 17, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious People – Inspirational Women pt.2

Fact of the day:

The Black Mambas are wildlife rangers who form South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit.

Resources list:

Rucksack; Toilet roll tubes, selotape; Youtube; Paper, scissors; Plastic milk bottle, scissors, tissue paper, glue, paint; Paper circles, or bun cases, glue.

Activity 1:

The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is made up of 22 women whose role it is to protect the wildlife in South Africa from poachers. Poachers are people who illegally hunt, capture or kill wild animals such as elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. The Black Mambas want to protect these animals.

Find South Africa on a map of the continent of Africa and on a map of The World.

The Black Mambas have learned to live in the Savannah – what would you need to pack in your rucksack for a journey to the Savannah with its hot and dry conditions? Act out your journey through the grasslands of the Savannah, what will you do if you  encounter lions, buffalo and hyenas, where will you find water, where will you find shade and cool down?

Activity 2:

The Black Mambas are the eyes and ears of the wildlife reserves in south Africa. The women have learned to spot camouflaged animal traps, and their anti-poaching strategy includes ‘visual policing’ by observing and close listening when they’re on their daily patrols.

Make binoculars and use your eyes and ears to detect things – what can you see and hear, close and far away, if you stay silent and really concentrate on your listening to your environment? Note down all the different noises you hear.

Listen closely – can you identify these animal noises?

Activity 3:

The Black Mambas monitor Rhinos, as hunting of rhinos for their wonderful horns has increased. The women monitor the rhino daily and design maps showing where the rhino are; this helps them find the high-risk areas of poaching. Rhino activity can be tracked by keeping an eye out for their footprints and evidence of their poo! See if you can match the footprints to the animals here.

Draw round and cut out your own footprint and create a map in your house, placing a footprint along the paths you usually walk, to map your activity. Are you most often found in the kitchen, the garden, or in bed – your footprints will give it away!

Activity 4:

The Black Mambas also protect Elephants from poachers who want their ivory tusks. In the 1980s, up to 80% of elephant herds were lost in some regions. The Black Mamba patrols ensure that elephants are not lost like this.

Create an elephant of your own, using a milk bottle covered in glued on tissue paper, or paper scraps which you can paint any colour when dry.

Can you mimic the trumpeting sounds and movements of an elephant?

Activity 5:

The Black Mambas also protect Pangolins. Pangolins are sometimes known as ‘Scaly Anteaters’ and are shy nocturnal creatures whose body is covered in scales (made from the same material as our fingernails) that acts as armour. Pangolins are often hunted for their scales, so need to be protected.

Create some scaly art work by over laying circle shapes of paper or card (or flattened bun cases) into a tessellated pattern like this.

Activity 6:

The Black Mamba is also a type of snake. Try moving like a snake with slow, slinky, creeping movements. Can you move your arms like wiggling snakes? Can you hiss, and whip your tongue in and out like a snake tasting the air? Can you wind your body from side to side, dancing to this or this song.

Activity 7:

Lorna has drawn a fantastic colouring-in sheet featuring The Black Mambas. Download it here and share your completed sheets with us on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!