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African Adventures

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:27am
Jackal_A Bennett.JPG hyaena camera trap_A Bennett.JPG

Well, I am here is sunny Namibia, Africa, to be a volunteer with The Brown Hyena Project. Participating in this field work is a dream come true for me and I am so excited! Over the next 3 weeks our small team, led by Dr Ingrid Wiesel, will dart and fit GPS collars to Brown Hyenas. This will enable Dr Wiesel to track their movements and abundance through the diamond mining area on the coast of southern Namibia. Brown Hyena numbers are very low in this area and could potentially be affected by mining operations.

The adventures began in Namibia's capital, Windhoek. We needed to catch a mini bus to a town called Luderitz, which is where the field work is based. This 9 hour journey was spent crammed with 18 people in a 14 seater mini bus with all our blankets, bags and food! The drivers choice of dance music may have been ok if it wasn't at full volume for the entire trip - gosh my ears were ringing at the end!

Glad to be off the bus, we arrived in Luderitz - an amzing small diamond mining and fishing town 400km from anywhere! This desert area is perfect Brown Hyena terrritory. The next day was spent packing the vehicles with all our camp gear - food, tents, water, dart equipment and even the toilet seat! This will equip us for 3 weeks in the desert. One tent needed some patching thanks to mischievous hyenas last year!

On arrival in camp, we were greeted by a curious Black-backed Jackal who came within 10m of us. He was happy to sit back and watch us while we unpacked. We checked the camera traps at the capture area which showed recent hyena activity - this is really exciting to see and means have a good chance at getting our hands on these amazing animals.

Next time you hear from me, I will tell you about the Brown Hyenas we have collared and other African adventures...stay tuned!

Anna
Senior Keeper of Carnivores, Monarto Zoo

Comments

Sounds fantastic Anna - can't wait to here how it all goes and see some photos. Keep up the great work in conservation and helping us to understand these amazing animals.
Posted By: Claire Clements on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 5:33pm
Great to hear some news about projects such as these which can help so much with the conservation of a species. I'm particularly pleased to hear about a hyena species, they have always fascinated me.

Well done for getting involved and happy researching! :)
Posted By: Mel on Sunday, May 15, 2011 6:23am

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