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Our Mongolian Trip – Part 6: Capturing Argali

If you’re reading this, I’m hoping you’ve read my previous blog posts about this topic. If not, it’ll make sense to understand what I’m mumbling about here.  Click the link below to read it!

I’d firstly like to say that this post is written in a way that describes my personal views and moments as they happened pre and along my trip to Mongolia. This may therefore mean the tone or grammatical arrangement of the content may be written in a documentary/diary-style language.

In reading this, I hope this gives you an idea of my adventurous trip to Mongolia with my girlfriend, who becomes my fiancée on this incredible trip to Mongolia.

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Day 5 in Mongolia: Wednesday September 23rd 2015 – capturing some argali!

Great day today. We went to our location and took positions in awaiting the horsemen to drive the argali towards us. The wait lasts over an hour or so before we hear screams and noises from the horsemen as they chase down the argali towards the nets. At this moment, most of us were hiding behind trees and bushes, ready to strike when the argali hit the nets.

The first chase allowed the capture of two argali for weighing, blood sampling, putting radio collars with tracking on them and checking temperatures. This made it possible for Kim to have the privilege of getting one named after her.

In the second rounds of argali batch, we captured two more and I get the honour of getting one named after me also.

It’s been a great and productive day. Very sunny and beautiful weather. Great sunset and at night, stars are the most beautiful event in the skies. Simply beautiful. Tiring day but it’s been great to have two argali  weighing about 150kgs each named after Kim and I. History. I hope they live long enough.

“Group briefing before we take positions..”

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“argali being chased towards the net by the horsemen”

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“Kevin proudly pulled blood from an argali”

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“Blood from an argali  to be used in tests”

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“pinning down an argali for blood to be pulled”

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“releasing an argali after a radio collar is put on its neck”

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“Data wrangling”

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“A radio collar being put on an argali”

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“More blood”

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“A free and released argali with radio collar..”

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“…and ear tags..”

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“Feeling proud for the good deed”

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“An argali is named after Kim! Happy face”

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“Joy all round..”

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“Kim weighs about 165kg”

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“weighing an argali”

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“An argali is named after Kofi..”

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Day 6 & 7 in Mongolia: Thursday & Friday September 24 & 25th 2015

Most of these days have been uneventful in terms of capturing argali, ibex or ram. Having caught one ibex on Thursday, day 6, the rest of the day was cold, quiet and uneventful on field. Friday, although warmer, has left us with many hours in the field without a capture.

Day 8 in Mongolia: Saturday, September 26th 2015

Today was a successful day! We spent hours on field trying to capture our fifth and last argali but disappointedly failed to do so after about four to five years be hours waiting for the horsemen to drive them to the net.

We leave after 2pm to go back to camp for lunch. Traditional Mongolian BBQ awaits! Great lunch, and re-energised for the second round to capture our last argali.

Meanwhile in the morning, UN representatives arrive to see our project, camp, and what we’ve been doing as a whole.

We set back to a different location to capture our last argali. Usually it takes us about 2-4 hours waiting and hiding idly in order to get some action of the horsemen chasing down the argali toward our net. This time round, luck was on our side. 5 mins in after setting bets up and taking our positions to hide, the horsemen chase some argali towards us into the nets and we finally caught, tagged, sampled and released our fifth and last argali on our target.

“The only best way to read temperature from an argali..”

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“Huds are put on the argali and ibex’s face to keep them calm..”

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“release of our last captured ibex, with a proud new radio collar..”

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The rest of the evening goes excellent with lovely dinner, followed by disco in the dresser about 5 miles away from camp. Who gets to go to disco in the gobi desert? It was a great laugh.

Watch out for the successive parts of this amazing trip, which involves capturing some argali and visiting a nomad family!

All rights reserved to images. Please do not use without written permission.

Thanks for reading.

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