Done with Derwent Graphite pencil 8B – on grey hand-made paper – 25″ × 18″
FOUR years ago the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort, South Africa, had a crisis. Their magnificent Black Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) male disappeared and it was thought that a 40-year old breeding programme would come to an end.
But the female (Emoyeni) eagle took charge. She disappeared for several days, and reappeared with a young male, Thulani, and the pair have continued breeding ever since. Their habitat is, however, critically endangered by the enormous development in the area and they are recorded as having to go as far as Hartebeespoort Dam area, 60km away, to find suitable prey.
The Garden, some 30 kilometres west of the city centre at Roodepoort, is one of a network of eight botanical gardens around the country. It consists of around 300 hectares of landscaped and natural veld areas, planted with only indigenous trees, 600 species of indigenous flowering plants and shrubs. Over 230 species of birds have been recorded in the Garden as well as a number of reptiles and small mammals.