Bai Coming Back to Life
by Mike Loomis
March 28, 2002
Thursday 6:40AM EST/12:40PM Cameroon
We went back to Ndangaye Bai in the afternoon. The birds and sitatunga were back, and there was more animal-related activity generally, which was encouraging. No elephants though, which didn't really surprise us too much.
About 3:00AM Thursday, a huge thunderstorm rolled in and woke me up. The forest canopy is so thick that it more than fifteen minutes elapsed before the rain actually made its way through the trees and onto the ground.
It rained for two hours, so we slept in this morning under the assumption that there wouldn't be any elephants around. We'll try the bai again this afternoon. If we don't see anything today, we'll probably try a new bai tomorrow, about four kilometers from here.
We are almost out of food. We sent two porters off to Mambele to pick supplies up. In the meantime, we'll probably eat a big electric catfish that we caught yesterday. Desire remains confident that we'll get something soon, and he saw the landing of the catfish to be yet another good luck omen.
The rainstorms have not only made finding elephants difficult, but have also made satellite telephone communication a problem. We have placed several calls to the U.S.--both to the North Carolina Zoo and to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta--and we're having a lot of trouble getting through.
About the author:
Dr. Mike Loomis is Chief Veterinarian at the North Carolina
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