My dear Friends, in Kenya, rain is usually concentrated in two brief periods during the year. Oddly, this first half of the year it has been almost one long stretch of rain, denying the usual drought its disastrous effects.
Never have we seen so much green for so long.
Fewer animal orphans resulted. The vegetation around us has been regenerated almost overnight. Once again there is plenty of green grass and browse for the animals. The trees look alive and healthy with a new dress of shade-giving foliage.
Here at the Orphanage we used the time to make repairs and improve the facility. The older holding pens have had a makeover keeping in mind foremost the animals’ needs.
Oliver, our boisterous orphaned little Buffalo had to be banned from the general open area. He insists on furthering his fighting skills on what he considers his peers: our human guests!! The result were some cuts and bruises on our very tolerant keepers. He is now earmarked for an early re-introduction into an adult herd so he can rethink his identity before it is too late.
Karen our original bushbuck now has a family of 4. All were sired in the wild. Each time, Karen, a former orphan herself returns to introduce her newborn. She stays and spends time raising the calf in the safety of the orphanage, before she once again leaves for the wild. She makes us all feel proud.
Most recently our young caracal cat (African Lynx) has again given birth to two kittens. She was closely watched as she refused to raise her last litter and injured them. This time she devoted all her new learned motherly skills on only one of the kittens, abandoning the other.
Mama Duma came to the rescue and you can read the touching story on this page.
But folks, the BIG news just came with the dawn of this morning May 29th:
We have our first second generation baby bongo born to the “American herd,” a great milestone marking the success in the ongoing project to return the magnificent Bongo Antelope to Mount Kenya. See the article Baby Boomers in the Bush Drums section.
As I write this, unexpectedly as they came, the rains have left us overnight. It feels strangely like typical February days: bright sunshine and a strong gale blowing from the North East… but wait this is almost June, something seems terribly wrong. The mountain stands crystal clear and suddenly almost bare of snow, as if arrogantly backing Al Gore’s grisly predictions. The rivers that border the Conservancy still swollen yesterday, have receded already, a timely reminder of the urgency to preserve what’s left of our environment and all creatures within.
By saving and restocking the Mount Kenya National Park with some of its lost game populations we strive to help preserve the biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.
In those areas set aside for conservation flora and fauna must be considered paramount if we are to save our own kind as a species on this earth.
It is time for man to cease to conquer, but give way to nature to insure our own second place in this chain of earthly survivors.
This month we invite you to renew your memberships to remain part of this important ongoing effort. Your support now will mean so much for so many. Help us to make the future of our last remaining wilderness and the wildlife within less uncertain.
As I look up on this magnificent Mountain in whose shadow I was born I appeal to you to support all the creatures that need your help.
Without the Mount Kenya Animal Orphanage even I would be history!!