A wet, yet fun, two weeks since my arrival at the trust. Several days have been spent out with the casuals searching the woodlands for snares. On one outing we found more than 10 snares, the next day we found none, but that is probably better news. After several days at the cottage I hadn’t caught sight of the colobus monkeys and was wondering whether man’s encroachment in Diani had finally got the better of them, but at the end of the week we went out on the colobus check and totaled 37 individuals, divided into 5/6 troops. We even saw some making use of the colobridges – nice.
Some of the highlights of last week included the successful capture and release of a python invading a local resort. I am told that snakes (whether poisonous or not) are viewed as dangerous pests by most of the locals. They are therefore normally dispatched immediately. To get this one out of harms way was good news for our serpentine friend; if only monkey capture and release were so simple! During our outreach programme our young volunteer Claire (who comes from Seattle (with her parents!)) proved popular with the local kids. We visited Mkokoni School, on route to Mombasa. This school had a great programme dedicated to tree conservation. The children were knowledgeable of trees and their roles in ecosystems and in many ways in speaking of the ills of deforestation we were preaching to the converted, but they enjoyed learning more about how they could help the primates of Diani.
This week (starting 23/6/08) has seen the departure of Egbert our volunteer from Holland and the family from Seattle. I have taken to the office and the colobus trust has joined forces with Kenya electricity company to insure that the addition of new power cables along Diani’s main road do not pose a threat to our local monkey inhabitants. This has meant that in the name of conservation we have paradoxically had to cut down a few trees. Finally we have had an adorable young vervet monkey in, he is has trouble walking, if his condition doesn’t improve soon, his future seems uncertain.