Our dear friend Chiri Chiri was sadly killed last week defending his boma from an attacking Leopard. The cat took 13 goats that night and brave Chiri went in to protect his flock. With one strike the Leopard put poor old Chiri down. To his yelps came another dog from the neighboring manyatta and that dog too was killed by the cat.
We always spoke about Chiri as the smartest dog in Africa because he would cross through miles and miles of lion and leopard country alone to come and see us. We would feed him a bit and give him any vet care should he need then he would say goodbye and return to a myriad of girlfriends back on the group ranch.
Chiri was a real hero and when Pirjo Itkonen, a reader of wildlifedirect came out to visit us Chiri stood guard outside her tent when lions were roaring close by. Pirjo was kind enough to leave Chiri with a food allowance when she left.
Anyway, Chiri we will miss you. rest in peace old friend. Below is a picture of Chiri and below that a picture of the Leopard that most likely got him ( we took it only day later not far from where Chriri was killed).
De Braza Monkeys were thought to only exist west of the Rift Valley till Helen Dufresne discovered them living in the Mathew’s Range. Overnight the population of this Endangered Primate quadrupled within Kenya (or something thereabouts – i can’t remember exactly the numbers). Check out these pictures from our last walking safari there:
We got the following pictures last night on our camera trap that we set up on one of our Walking Safaris ( http://www.karisia.com ). Thrilling each time we get an Aardvark.
Grevy’s are an endangered species and 90 percent of their poulation lives in Laikipia, Kenya
RAnger Kechine got this picture of a pair of Aarwolves the other morning.
We had these nice big bats coming to the stream beside our camp in the Mathews Range. While the photos are rather blurred i thought that a bat person could at least make a sound suggestion as to what species we might have here. Thanks for your help.
When Tumaren Rangers, Nuno, longamon and Kichine heard that 8 of the neighbors cows had been killed by lions after they had been left out for the night, they rushed to the scene to place a cameratrap on the carcasses. When they returned in the morning they could see by the tracks that a Lion had returned and fed then paced all about where the cameratrap had been. Yet, tho and behold, the cameratrap was gone! They suspected foul play but could see no sign of human tracks. They decided to follow the lionesses tracks instead. Over the course of half a kilometer they followed her tracks until they came upon the rather bruised camertrap with a whole through its glass. The lioness at this point let out a growl from adjacent bush and the Rangers left. Later ranger Kichine while walking in the same area found why this lioness has been so faithful to this little patch of bush – she has 3 kittens! We have spoken now to all our rangers, congratulating them firstly on their discovery and asking them to leave this area alone for several more months until our lioness and her young move on. The following is a picture of mumma lioness minutes before she took the camera and then a picture of the camera itself with bite marks and a damaged glass.
We went recently to visit Tumaren at her new home at The Sheldrick Trust Orphanage. What a pleasure it was to see how happy she was with all her friends foraging in natural bush within Nairobi National Park.
I couldnt determine if Tumaren recongnized me after our long streesful night together a while back but his keeper felt that she did. She and many of the other young Elephants would suck our fingers which evidently allows them to get to know us. Another common method for greeting an elephant is to blow into its trunk.
After hanging with the Ele’s out in the bush for a while the keepers whistled and told them all it was time for milk. It was amazing to see how quickly they responded to the command, knowing exactly the routine and lining up for their march back to their comfortable quarters.
Back at milk time we met with the other group of orphans returning from their afternoon foraging. At the Sheldrick Elephant Baracks we were so impressed by the comfort and care provided to each and every orphan. Above each enclosure there was a hanging cot for each keeper. With baby elephants this is necessary as they are rather ‘needy’ and can deteriorate without companionship.
This year the orphanage has received more elephants than ever. The drought here is stressing the herds and many younger elephants are dying of starvation and even adults like Tumaren’s mum are succumbing to drought related illnesses. In times like this we must be very thankful that there is such a warm and caring place as the Sheldrick Orphanage.
The following image tell the whole happy story. Please spread the news about this great place that so helps animals in need.
Kerry, Rufous and Tumaren
The gang foraging in Nairobi National Park
Jamie and Tumaren
Julia Glen and Tumaren
Julia Glen and Tumaren
The Eles are told its time to go for Milk.
The Milk Train.
Jennifer being followed..
Tumaren at his quarters.
On the cute scale this ranks rather high…
Excellent news, the baby Aardvark (who we may have named Aarthur) has survived his operation. For three hours Dr. Dietter Rottcher and Dr. Sanjay Gautama worked on a broken hind femur which was snapped clear in 2. They put in a metal pin, a standard operation for a dog but for a species as different as an Aardvark, rather unchartered territory. Both Doctors reported just how different his anatomy was and how the articulation at the joints was utterly odd. Their best accesible anatomy book was for a Dog’s muscles which is rather like using a Ford Fairmount Manual to drive the Space Shuttle. The most frightening part of the surgery though was the anaesthesia.
As part of our research we contacted a series of specialist Vets and Curators connected to American Zoos. Dr. Roberto Aguilar Veterinary Advisor – Xenartha Taxon Advisory Group was very helpful in recomending specific drugs and techniques that have worked well for him in surgery with Aardvarks and Pangolins. I cant remember the specific drug that Dr. Rottcher used but he mentioned that it was an ‘old fashioned’ one and that he did not have access to many of the modern drugs mentioned in the email from Dr. Aguilar. This had us worried, especially when it took Aarthur so long to come out of his drugged state. When we visited him in the evening at 7pm Aarthur was still totally out of it and unable to drink or eat. This was 4 hours after the surgery. Under the close and compassionate care of the Rottcher Family though, Aarthur made it through the night drinking roughly 90 Ml of his milk and termite milk shake when he finally stirred in the early hours of the morning.
Now Arthur has been home with us for a full 24 hours. He is eating well and sleeping well and is living now by the foot of our bed in a wooden box to contain his movement of his injured limb. We are feeding him every 2-3 hours but hope that we can find an easier schedule as we get to know Aarthur’s needs. A number of people besides those mentioned above have been very helpful advising us on how best to care for an Aardvark. We thank them for their kindness and they are mentioned in no particular order below:
John Gramieri – Mammal Curator San Antonia Zoo
Angela Price – Memphis Zoo
Joe Flanagan – Houston Zoo
Ron Surratt – Ft Worth Zoo
Sheryl Dikeman – Omaha Zoo
Doug Armstrong – Omaha Zoo
Mandi Olsen – Omaha Zoo
This baby Aardvark was found during one of our camel safaris on Aug. 28th. This morning I took him to the vet for an x-ray after sleeping with him in the same bed. He has a broken leg and rib. The leg surgery on Thursday will be long says Dieter Rottcher the leading wildlife vet here. We just hope he will make it till thurs….