Tomas

Chinko Project

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Fresh news from the Chinko Project Facebook:

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/chinkoproject/posts/1728170604164010

 

In Chinko over the last months we have been very busy preparing for the dry season, when we receive an influx of heavily armed militarised poachers from Sudan. The poachers persecute the last remaining Central African wildlife as well as the local communities. Our preparation has included road, airstrip and Ranger bases been constructed, getting supplies in place, installing radio communications as well as many other activities.

However one of the most exciting activities is the Chinko Rangers practising their helicopter drills, as you can see in the photos.

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Thank you very much Adam, I am really proud of your tireless work to try to save one of the last wild area of Central Africa, a huge, remote place in the middle of civil wars.

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@@Paolo

 

It is interesting you mention old hunting books, because actually those classic stories brought me to Africa. For me as a naive teenager, adventure and hunting and conservation went hand in hand (indeed, so many naturalists in the early days were hunters). I came to Chinko at the age of 19, and at that time, was very naive about the wildlife situation on the continent. I thought the bush was full of animals everywhere. I of course became disillusioned with this notion when I visited other places in central Africa... Now, it seems the priority is to focus on protecting island populations with high biodiversity. African Parks in my opinion is doing the best job of this model.

 

Those Lord Derby Eland photos were truly four years in the making! I have never, until that moment, seen those animals in such an open spot to have their photo taken. Most sightings of LDE are fast, and in thick mopani woodland... it was a miracle to get that photo. Another guide, Mike Fell, was with me and got similar great photos. It was always my dream to get photos of bongo in the wild as well.... I think I spent a couple of weeks in a tree over a salt lick before I finally got my bongo photos in 2009. They were blurry, and very dark, but at least i managed to get them.

 

Cheers

 

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post-51227-0-66050900-1484630415_thumb.jpg

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Posted (edited)

@@adam parkison

 

Thank you for posting those photos. I constantly follow Mike Fell on social media and we have been chatting every now and then. Aren't his photos just fantastic and dramatic? Some of the sights he photographs are very familiar to me (same location, at times same individual animal I know) but he has the ability of render those images so poweful and unique.

 

Re hunting books - I think I went the opposite way, meaning that I discovered them after having been on safari. I am a great deal older than you, but I have been extremely lucky to travel to Africa since a young age. Well, in those days, I was mostly reading zoology books (as an aside, I was quite fiercely adverse to hunting). However, in the following 30 years I have seen Africa change so much (even in front of my naive tourists's eyes) and the discovery of something like "End of the Game" by P.Beard was a revelation.

 

Since then, old hunting books have represented a wonderful window into a past of abundance no longer exisring. There are narrations in Karamojo Bell's books of thousands and thousands of vultures in one place (vultures are now sadly in massive decline everywhere), or of having his elephants hunts spoilt by too many black rhinos in the way and so forth. His description of the wildlife in the Aouk valley make you tremble. And the big tuskers in "On Target" by R. Montvoisin?

 

And remarkably in those books the act of killing is very much secondary, almost a necessary but never pleasant per se, appendix. It is all about the wilderness, the exploration, the tracking etc...

 

I am a bit rambling now, but I am sure you know what I mean :-)

Edited by Paolo
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@@Paolo I can only say that these three men who died were heroes to the cause of conservation. They didn't die in vain. We can only hope that the

Chinoko project goes on unhindered.

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