I have packed so much into my time here in
Kenya and this month was no
different; if I was to give it a name it would be the month of my beard (it
grew to new lengths).
|Following a group of colobus monkeys|
I finally learnt how to play backgammon and there is something very relaxing about disconnecting from computer screens. I also witnessed a very large Sykes vs Vervets standoff with the colobus watching from the trees above; never seen so many monkeys in such a small space. Had a sundowner (drinks watching the sunset) at
and was tested on my driving skills of the Colobus Conservation truck.
|The start of a much larger monkey standoff|
|Watching the sun go down at Congo River|
|Loading material to insulate the power lines|
However, the highlight of this month without doubt was living out a boyhood dream of seeing the mountain gorillas in
It lived up to everything I imagined it would be; and more. Bwindi, Uganda Uganda is a
beautiful country, with amazing wildlife, people and landscapes and I urge you
to visit. You can read about my experience in more detail her Part 1 and here
|Sunrise over Lake Victoria|
|13 month old gorilla baby|
|Silverback of the Bitukura gorilla group|
Not long after returning it was the 2014 Brazil World Cup Final, and I watched it with a number of different nationalities including Germans. As a neutral I was hoping for exciting penalties and then
Germany had to go a ruin everything by scoring
in the very last minute of extra time; I was routing for Argentina. I
wrote an article on vegan food in Kenya for Fresh Vegan magazine (out
in August), a lot of the local dishes are already vegan or easy to convert. As
the managers were away I got the chance to be on call, which meant having the
colobus hotline and driving responsibilities. Of course these two days I was on
call were not quiet. We had an injured Sykes monkey we couldn't catch, even
after crawling through a very dense forest area. Then the next day we had a
Sykes hit by a car and a young colobus monkey with an old infected wound to its
back; currently both being treated at our center.
|Omari showing me how to make a few dishes|
|Young colobus that was rescued, I want to name him Zeus because of his side white hair|
Sometimes we require the use of a blow dart to safely catch monkeys that are injured and need treatment. We had a little competition to hone our skills and it is fair to say that I did not win, in fact if there is an injured monkey it would be best if someone else took the shot; don’t breath in when you have the blow dart tube in your mouth. Unfortunately, the attitudes towards the monkeys by the locals are sometimes not that great. For example, a Sykes monkey stole some sugar and the man told me that he will kill a few of them potentially through poisoning. I took this as an opportunity to improve things and bought him more sugar and tried to explain that they are opportunistic and that you must lock food away; also about the importance of monkeys in protecting the forest, let’s just hope that worked.
|Blow dart practice, don't breath in|
So as you can see it was another busy and exciting month here in
Africa living with monkeys. I cannot
believe I now only have one month left, the time has gone so fast and I have a
lot of fantastic memories.
Here are some photos from the month that I wanted to share, enjoy!
|A baboon chasing insects in the sun|
|Mum grooming her child|
|Yawning Vervet, they may be small but those teeth!|
|A young Vervet quickly stuffed his cheek pouches before an adult came along|
|Little Elwood of colobus group 1 is getting so big|
You can see all my photos of my time in
Kenya on my Flickr page here -http://bit.ly/1dpb3gd
Or on my facebook page here - www.facebook.com/diaryofaprimatologist
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