January 2012 Elephant Field Journal - Part III
by Mike Loomis
: 8-9 February 2012
8 February 2012
Today is our last day in the field. We decided to hike to Conservator's Camp and take a trail from there towards the village of Bomana. There is a major water source along the trail and outside of the national park, and there are also farms that elephants raid. We saw no fresh elephant signs on the way to Conservator's Camp. Once we reached the camp, we headed in the direction of the trail to Bomana. There were many elephant signs in the area, but all were a couple of months old. We hiked to a water point south of the main water source for Conservator's Camp. There were no fresh elephant signs anywhere in the area.
We found a dead forest cobra at the water source. We came across a new trail towards Bomana. We followed the trail away from Bomana upslope to a junction for a trail that led to Conservator's Camp, then continued upslope. We found a large number of recently set wire snares and removed them. We also found a live genet caught in a snare and released it, though its leg was badly injured. We went cross-country from the trail we were on to the trail that leads from Idenau Camp 1 to the Conservator's Camp. We then hiked back to camp, arriving at 1600.
9 February 2012
It started raining at 0200. We had planned to get up at 0600, pack, have breakfast and hike out. We stayed in our tents until 0700. It was still raining, so we decided at that point to get up and pack up camp in the rain. It took about an hour to pack everything. By the time we finished packing, the rain had stopped. We had breakfast and started hiking out.
The hike out was difficult because we were hiking cross-country; the terrain was steep and everything was wet. It took about four and one-half hours to hike to the vehicle drop point. We heard chainsaws on the hike out. We also found a camp in Mt. Cameroon National Park used by timber poachers. It was too wet to burn, but we dismantled it as best we could.
Our drivers were waiting for us when we arrived. We packed all of our equipment into the vehicles and drove to Idenau. One of the vehicles got lost in the palm plantation on the way to Idenau and arrived at Idenau an hour after the vehicle I was in arrived. We had a small celebration and then headed to Limbe. We arrived at Limbe at 1530 and unpacked the vehicles. I headed to my hotel for a hot shower and good meal.
: 10-16 February 2012
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4
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