Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Strange Things Happen To a Man On the Road

Headlines on Elephants and Kenya:

Wacky scientists are using analysis of elephant hair to track the animals' diets and migration patterns, supplemental to GPS and on-the-ground tracking.

The KWS elephant transfer program has been put on hold due to the drought; more on that below.

One of the Hawthorn elephants has died during preparations to transfer her to the sanctuary at Hohenwald. Elsewhere, the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is protesting the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. A hopeful sign (?); the Pittsburgh Zoo plans a 700-acre facility for elephant breeding and handler training. However, at this point there are no plans to move elephants from the zoo itself.

Can rogue bull elephants be rehabilitated? Rory Hensman thinks so. Tembo and Mabitsi may soon be used in anti-poaching operations.

Is elephant libido related to a human "sixth sense"?

Baby elephants!

In non-elephant news, Owen and Mzee recently celebrated their first anniversary. That would be the baby hippo and the 130-year-old tortoise who appear to have become best friends.

In Kenya:

Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai urges Kenya's government to preserve its forests; but are environmental concerns being used to obscure political motives behind mass evictions from the Mau forest?

"According to United Nations estimates, Kenya alone has 650,000 children under age 17 who have lost one or both parents to AIDS."

The drought: it's bad. Even Kibaki says so. Most of the nation's prisoners gave up their New Year's meal to send food to the affected areas. The Masai are pissed. Could more be done? With the dry weather, there's also a risk of forest fires which could endanger the elephant population.

Finally, Kibaki says the decision on Amboseli is final.


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