I wake up this morning with the news that one of our big strong safari camels has died from a snake bite.. I cant help but be sad about this … BUT life goes on!..
Now with the rains back we have been watching various animals trying to cross the lugga while in flood, which fairly has made us ‘hold onto our seats’! Watching a troop of baboons the other evening that had been cornered by a lion most of the day, and now had to make a decision about where they will sleep!.. to risk losing one of the troop to the lions jaws or try and cross the flooded lugga and get to the rocks on the other side.. It was an incredible sight when suddenly aprox 50 baboons broke cover and rushed into the flooded river ( lugga) with out a plan, which nearly ended up in disaster.. I did not have a camera with me BUT it was chaos.. 50 baboons all of different sizes heading frantically into the water, some trying to keep dry by standing, only to get washed off their feet and watching the little ones only just make it several hundred meters down stream was hair raising! The mums running down the bank after their little ones being swept away was harsh… BUT the good news is they all made it!!
Early the next morning… This little group of elephants arrive to find the lugga is flooded.. Instead of deciding to cross later they want to cross now! There is a tiny little one in amoungst them.. They probe a few times … and finally decided to go for it.. its a team effort and nobody goes with out the others!
After my last blog with the plan to go to the desert I wanted to share with you what they found from the managers report
MONTHLY REPORT FOR MARCH 2020, by the manager Lesoloyia.. shortend to cover the important issues..
A team of 15 scouts spent seven days in the desert east of Ndonyo Mara and crisscrossed the desert with the main object of finding out what is happening there. We managed to see quite number of species but sadly very wary. We discovered that hunting for game meat was going on. We saw tracks of motorbikes in three places in the desert with one chasing after giraffes. Other wise there was plenty of forage and the wildlife was healthy. The following was what we saw which considering this area was properly hit in the drought last year its encouraging to see..
Gerenuk 167, Hare 12, Cape Fox? 3, Cheetah 2, Grants Gazzelle 73, Ostrich (M) 35, (F) 169, Grevey’s Zebra 1, Dikdik 55, Oryx 30, Giraffe 5, Jackals 12
At the end of last month because of the government ‘corona’ directive that big crowds should be avoided, the scouts meeting which was supposed to take place did not, but instead the unit leaders held a meeting and shared the following reports
- The unit leader visited Arsim and Sukuroi Lororas during the circumcision and saw fresh Lion skin with the people.. He was surprised because there seemed to be no shortage of the skin unlike this side of the mountain last july where some communities had to do the ceremonies in turns so that they can share the few lion skins that they had. On inquiry he was told the skins were given to the people by KWS. (comment.. the Samburu need a tiny strip of lion skin tied round each leg to go through the ceremony)
- Two lions killed a camel in Arsim and came back safely to the Milgis via Nkurnit after escaping an ambush by people who wanted to kill them.
- Buffaloes came to the Ngila area of Urra and are grassing safely
- The locust are being sprayed in Arsim, people reported bees dieing every where (we need to question what is being sprayed)
- One elephant gave birth in Siteti and is getting water from our dam
- He gave a summary of the 2019 December attack of elephants at Larapasi and said the poachers could not be identified because they had masks.
- He reported that in Mao area of Nkurnit a young female elephant slipped over a cliff as they crowded at a muddle of water. The elephant crashed down and died on the spot..
- He said the talk about corona virus is causing fear and many people are scared even to go out and meet the community
- One elephant was killed by lion in Naipirarie nkoliin area of lkerei. The elephant carcass was found by two morans who took the tusks and wanted to use them to make earrings. The community after discovering that the elephant tusks had been taken tried to play a trick on the scouts and gave them information that the elephant was a young one with tiny tusks. However when the scouts visited the site they realize it was a big elephant and insisted that the community produces the tusks, and when the tusks were found and were quite big ( we need to follow up further if it was really killed by lion)
- The unit leader informed the team that the Nonchura camping issue has not been resolved yet, the family involved seems to defy what the community said about the money stolen. The rest of the community agreed to repay what they were given but this family is defiant and wants to bar safari from going down Lmotio or have any activities in that area. However the community promises to resolve the issue and the safari should not worry about this threat as the lugga does not belong to this family
Two meetings have been held by the community about this issue but nothing seems to be happening. Another meeting is set for 5th April and the community resolved that should the community refuse to cooperate with them, they will call the police and arrest the two people who signed for the money.
- Lions have made the laananikan a home and they move from lkanto to masai areas. They have not yet attacked any homes but feed on bush pigs and warthogs.
- He reported that the old cut sandalwood is being collected and taken via laarapa. He said no new wood is being cut.
- The operator gave a report that there are stolen camels coming up the milgis and asked all the scouts to be on the lookout.
- He commended the Lkerei unit leader for the way he handled the two incidents of elephants carcasses found without tusks. He said he talked to the community and they produced the tusks peacefully.
- He pointed out that the shortage in the lion skin during the recent ceremonies should be a lesson to the community to keep the lions that have come so that they increase and the skins will be available in the future.
- He commended the team that went to the desert and said the trip was very educative in terms of what happens when the land is not damaged by livestock and human population. He said the desert was very green and the grass was healthy and tall. He said the patrol was well planned and there was no problem at all.
The water project coordinator visited Swari community about their water system that has stopped working, to find out what was wrong with the system and discuss with the community what they are going to revive it. The coordinator found out that a wire to the controller was damaged and could be the cause of the stalling of the system.
Daktari and his team were able to vaccinate against rabies and de worm 1000 dogs.. all was successful..
FAMILY PLANNING.. Ramate e losho.. Looking after our society..
Mary, our relentless talker on family planning accompanied the vet unit during the rabies vaccination campaign and was able to meet and talk to both men and women.. They visited 17 different communities along with the vet team.. She met and had a good talk to 105 Men, 448 Women and girls
Just to finish off.. Interresting how the Samburu deal with issues.. On the hill here we had some disagreements amoung’st our workers.. ‘Lkanto’, this remote hill in the middle of nowhere, where we can look north, south, east and west for miles with out seemingly any one around, there were issues,,,On the hill we have the people who look after lkanto, we have the camel safari stores, and the Milgis base, including the radio operators amounting to around 10 or so people.. Any way some were not getting on well, some saying things that were not true, some going home and not informing the others, some drinking, some late for work and plenty more.. all things that eventually become a nonsense in a working team.. So we had a meeting, in fact several.. In the end they all came to a happy medium, every one now was on the same level.. well bonded and to endorse their discussions they decided to eat a cow together!!.. This means eating , talking, eating abit more, talking, sleeping, discussing , laughing, telling stories, eating, sleeping, more laughing and jokes etc and five days later, this morning no one having left the hill, they drank the last soup together.. All the problems seem to have blown away!.. ALL SMILES and VERY HAPPY!.. SO the moral of the story is, if you have disagreements amoungst the troups EAT A COW TOGETHER!!!!
What a sight those baboons must have been, and a heart stopping moment for the baby ellie! Thank goodness they all made it. Never a dull moment in the Milgis! How I wish I was there right now – far away from the madness over here. I think I must go and acquire a cow and have a chat with my neighbours, who are a PAIN!!!! Thanks for your posts Helen. I love reading them. Keep well. Jane
Another lovely blog as usual. Always so refreshing and fun to read.