TuHu Chinese farmer falconer

The dogs flushed a big hare from some standing dry maize we were walking through. Instant action, as two big hounds accelerate to full speed within yards of leaving the maize. Seconds later the hood is struck and the TuHu is in pursuit.

We all raced into the clear to keep the flight in view, the dogs were at full stretch and the TuHu was stooping like a hammer hitting a nail. Then just as the flight was at the point of success, disarray and confusion. The dogs lost the hare and the falcon peeled off into a low tree.

WHAT HAPPENED, was everyone's question. When we arrived we found this concrete electric pole lying on the ground. It was hollow and tapered and the hare had shot up it and was stuck fast.

That hare had been under so much pressure and yet had seen the opportunity for escape and taken it. In my book that was a fair escape and I would have looked for another slip.

Not these falconers, they felt they could reflush this hare and they spent nearly an hour poking thin twigs down this pole before they gave in.