Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Exotic Hunting in Oahu

Our first night on Oahu, we pulled some strings and got a friend of the family to take us out on an exotic hunt for one of Oahu's top predators.

To make it even more dangerous, these monsters can only be hunted effectively at night.

We cautiously stepped out into the humid, tropical night air armed only with headlamps and a bamboo pole.

What were we getting into?

Very quickly we spotted our quarry. Good thing, too, because we needed the edge before he spotted us.

There! In the tree - do you see her!

A juvenile female... cameleon!

This first one was out in the open... much easier to spot. They can be really tough to spot, even when they are sleeping.

In no time we surrounded her, and gently coaxed her onto our bamboo pole.

She seemed just as content to sleep on a finger as on a vine.

These things are really cool!

Several times, the creatures failed to grasp the pole and ended up dropping from their roost.

They curl up into a ball, and drop into the thick grass and jungle - then we have to go digging for them, and fast! They really get moving when they fall, and we lost several of them.

Most of our hunting was along public roadways.

We also took a long portion of a well-known trail. That was a favorite part of the hunt. Moving slowly along the muddy trail, hearing the chorus of crickets, and smelling the heavy jungle smell punctuated with ripe guava was transporting.

At the end of our bamboo pole was a small piece of hanger wire. The trick is to motivate (gently) the dinosaurish monster off its roost and onto the wire so we can get it.

Pretty fancy looking, and very effective.

Our next successful capture was a male - distinguished by the three horns.

This one wasn't too upset - note his happy green color.

Sometimes they can get pretty mad about being woken up - especially the males.

Like this one! Note his dark color - he turned BLACK with green diamonds when we got him onto the pole... he was mad!

And he was a biter! We finally had to put him into the big pocket of shame because he never did settle down.

Not until we caught another bigger female, that is - then he settled in nice and quiet with her...

Here's a couple more happier animals we caught. The females were much smaller then the males we found.

This was a fantastic and fun hunt. Pretty successful, too - 9 animals chased, and 5 in the box.

By the end we got pretty good at spotting them and recovering them.

Oahu has a great night-life!