Bush Drums April 2004

» Posted on Apr 1, 2004 in Bush Drums | 0 comments

Bush Drums April 2004

Easter Sunday

The flowers and shrubs were still heavy with the night’s rain.

Reluctant to get dressed I went outside with the dogs, still in my dressing gown, the luxury of a holiday. Thousands of tiny wet prisms were teasing the sun, a gift from the rain.

The air was sparkling clean. It made the peaks of Mount Kenya seem much closer. Suddenly I saw a movement at the end of the garden.

The Hibiscus bush parted to reveal the head of a big male bongo. Staring at me, caught in surprise, he didn’t move.

‘That’s why the dogs were barking on and off during the night’ I thought.

Mount Kenya and mountain bongo
Mountain Bongo and hibiscus

Of course I recognized the old Bull. We had called him ‘Jamhuri’ when he was born to our herd some 7 years earlier on Jamhuri (Republic) day. Lately he had become bothersome to the younger animals, them for no apparent reason.

So, for his temporary ‘retirement’ he was given the forest area adjacent to my garden. That is, until last night, when he discovered a new sweet food source, my flowers!

After some time, and while there were still a few flowers left, we showed him the way back into the forest in no uncertain terms. Don re-enforced the broken gate.

It was another perfect Easter morning in Africa!

Georgie’s first date, or three’s company!!

Georgie, our lone vervet monkey was once a pet to grandson’s Alex and Ryan who had found him abandoned as a baby on their farm in southern Kenya.

The monkey and the Children grew together and before long, the family moved to the U.S., so the boys could attend school there to prepare them for college. Poor Georgie. He has been at the Orphanage ever since, waiting for a family of his own. Or was he?

Velvet monkeys
Georgies’ shy ‘Virgins’

A few days ago, the Kenya Wildlife Service arrived with three young female vervets they had to confiscate from illegal custody. They too, could not be released in the forest without a male to make up a troupe.

Finally some company for Georgie, we thought. Wrong again! Georgie was not the least bit pleased to share his home with these strange creatures the likes of which he had never seen before. For two days he complained, wailing loudly. ‘The girls’ were at first intimidated, but finally and in unison charged at him. This of course was an unexpected challenge, so Georgie shut up and started to ignore the presence of ‘the girls’.

For now, he continues his inhospitable behavior. But not for long, we think.

Our animal keepers at the Orphanage have bets going as to how long it will take Georgie to ‘discover’ girls. (Our grandsons certainly beat him to that stage!)

Once Georgie and ‘the girls’ establish a firm family bond, we can make plans for their safe return to the wild.

Our Very Special Thank You Goes To:

Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Melissa Keiswetter, U.S.A. for their continued interest and support for the Bongo Repatriation Project.

The William Holden Wildlife Foundation and Chairman Stefanie Powers for their
very generous donation towards the upkeep of the orphan animals

Mr. and Mrs. M. Marker of Karachi for their very kind annual donation.

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy