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Short update from dusty and windy Amboseli
Amboseli carries all signs of being dry - in the afternoons dust often sweeps over us as grey or brownish fog. There is not much green gras to see, not much to feed on. Several days we have seen rain in the near by slopes of Kilimanjaro, and Loitokitok 1 hour away experienced this week much more rain than what's normal for this time of the year. Unfortunately most things previously planted have already died - the rain came too late.
The elephants are less active and talkative in a period like this, which is not great in terms of what we're trying to achieve within our communication study. They are hot and have less energy, but thanks to the Amboseli swamps they are doing relatively fine everything considered. Unstable weather often leads to heavy winds, which our sensitive microphone is not very pleased with. Blake and I are in any case happy to collaborate with the very competent research assistants in the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, both Norah Njiraini and Katito Sayialel have been "in action".
Blake Murray and Norah Njiraini in the Amboseli Elephant Research camp. (©ElephantVoices)
There are many babies in Amboseli these days - which indicates that 2006 and 2007 where years with enough rain and food. But times are harder now - even though dusting feels good for elephants even in the best of times. (©ElephantVoices)
At night we very often hear lions - several are staying near by and sometimes walk so we can see them from the camp during day time. And in and around the camp numerous animals are having a peaceful time feeding on what's left, they continue to know that we are friends. Outside my tent opening a buffalo is looking at me 8-10 meters away, when I walk over to the dining tent a couple of zebras hardly move out of the path. Last Wednesday ended up very different and more dramatic than expected - since we had to follow AERP's Katito to find an elephant baby that was reported having fallen into a well. I will tell you some more, and share a couple of photos, in a couple of days. Right now other tasks need my attention. Have a great Sunday!
Male lion resting near by entrance to camp - currently getting all the food that he wants thanks to others being hungry and weak. (©ElephantVoices)