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Hyenas & Stray Dogs, Begone!

IMG_6059

Good dog!

There has been much ado in Karura Forest recently over dogs and their relatives.

First a hyena was spotted on Kitisuru road in mid-February, and a week later actually seen in the Sigiria block.  We have tried to trap it using a Kenya Wildlife Service lion trap bitted with offal, but other nocturnal animals keep springing the trap. A large team of of FKF Scouts was deployed to try to see if the hyena was still in the forest and to warn visitors.

Kitisuru hyena

Over the following days, there were further Kitisuru sightings and reports of the animal in one or two gardens. We suspected that it was scavenging from the nyama choma (roast meat) pub on the corner of Peoponi and Kitisuru Roads. Then in early march it was learned that a hyena had been killed in Gachie, a settlement some 8 km from Karura. There have been no further sightings.

Where the animal came from remains a mystery.

Meanwhile FKF and KFS efforts to capture feral dogs in humane traps baited with fresh cow bones has yielded three dogs so far. The KSPCA collected all the dogs and is currently trying to find them owners.

 

Bad dogs: caught along the Karura River by FKF camera trap.

Lesser Spotted GenetBoth the dog and the hyena traps have also caught legitimate forest denizens, such as genets (pictured), mongooses and civets. All were quickly released unharmed, and temporarily well-fed

 

 

 

 

Finally, a handful of dog owners persist in having their pets off-leash in on-leash areas, or not having them under control at all times. A few persons have been banned from bring their dogs into the forest. Voice command control is now obligatory in all parts of Karura.

Dog owners: Please help ensure that we do not lose the privilege of walking dogs in a national forest reserve.

Kitisuru hyena

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Last! Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya!

IMG_1240 A total ban targeting super-market type plastic bags  has been introduced by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Dr. Judi Wakhungu, just weeks after FKF posted this shame-the-litterer post on Facebook. Nearly 80,000 Kenyans were reached and were angry.

Targeting the increasing number of university students visiting the forest during a university strike, the FKF Facebook post set a tongue-in-cheek pop quiz for the dozen or so visitors who off-track in a wildlife area not far from the nest of the recovering crowned eagle family.
“Prof. Wangari Maathai invites you to her house. She offers you mandazis and water during the visit. You enjoy yourselves, and when you go you throw the empty bottles and other rubbish on her livingroom floor.
Is this behaviour evidence of:  (a) rudeness; (b) lack of respect; (c) ignorance; or (d) all of the above?”

Plastic Bag BanThe response was amazing and encouraging, with hundreds of angry comments and shares by a host of environmentally-aware Kenyans, answering (d) and demanding that their forest be treated with the respect that their Nobel Laureate would have expected.

 

Clearly, the Cabinet Secretary was listening. Here’s the Kenya Gazette notice of the ban.

Some Facebook commenters made the valid point that plastics are important and useful in our contemporary lives. Sensible ‘cradle-to-grave’ management of materials production is a perennial concern of environmental agencies worldwide.

But the fact remains that with current careless environmental policy, the weight of plastics in the ocean will outweigh the weight of fish by 2015. And already, marine food chains are contaminated by the micro-plastic particles than emanate from the non-biodegradable physical breakdown of things like supermarket bags.

More countries must urgently follow the lead of Kenya and Rwanda and other in banning plastics before we all choke on our own refuse.

 

Control Your Dog — Even in Off-Leash Areas

Dog Control

Click here for more Dog Guidelines.

Karura 2017 Calendar Reduced to 400/=!

Karura Calendar 2017FEBRUARY SALE: NOW ONLY KES 400/=

Get your 2017 FKF calendar at any main gate or the KFEET office.

 

Mar 18

Protected: FKF Executive Comm: What do you think?

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Mar 17

Hyenas & Stray Dogs, Begone!

IMG_6059

Good dog!

There has been much ado in Karura Forest recently over dogs and their relatives.

First a hyena was spotted on Kitisuru road in mid-February, and a week later actually seen in the Sigiria block.  We have tried to trap it using a Kenya Wildlife Service lion trap bitted with offal, but other nocturnal animals keep springing the trap. A large team of of FKF Scouts was deployed to try to see if the hyena was still in the forest and to warn visitors.

Kitisuru hyena

Over the following days, there were further Kitisuru sightings and reports of the animal in one or two gardens. We suspected that it was scavenging from the nyama choma (roast meat) pub on the corner of Peoponi and Kitisuru Roads. Then in early march it was learned that a hyena had been killed in Gachie, a settlement some 8 km from Karura. There have been no further sightings.

Where the animal came from remains a mystery.

Meanwhile FKF and KFS efforts to capture feral dogs in humane traps baited with fresh cow bones has yielded three dogs so far. The KSPCA collected all the dogs and is currently trying to find them owners.

 

Bad dogs: caught along the Karura River by FKF camera trap.

Lesser Spotted GenetBoth the dog and the hyena traps have also caught legitimate forest denizens, such as genets (pictured), mongooses and civets. All were quickly released unharmed, and temporarily well-fed

 

 

 

 

Finally, a handful of dog owners persist in having their pets off-leash in on-leash areas, or not having them under control at all times. A few persons have been banned from bring their dogs into the forest. Voice command control is now obligatory in all parts of Karura.

Dog owners: Please help ensure that we do not lose the privilege of walking dogs in a national forest reserve.

Kitisuru hyena

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 17

At Last! Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya!

IMG_1240 A total ban targeting super-market type plastic bags  has been introduced by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Dr. Judi Wakhungu, just weeks after FKF posted this shame-the-litterer post on Facebook. Nearly 80,000 Kenyans were reached and were angry.

Targeting the increasing number of university students visiting the forest during a university strike, the FKF Facebook post set a tongue-in-cheek pop quiz for the dozen or so visitors who off-track in a wildlife area not far from the nest of the recovering crowned eagle family.
“Prof. Wangari Maathai invites you to her house. She offers you mandazis and water during the visit. You enjoy yourselves, and when you go you throw the empty bottles and other rubbish on her livingroom floor.
Is this behaviour evidence of:  (a) rudeness; (b) lack of respect; (c) ignorance; or (d) all of the above?”

Plastic Bag BanThe response was amazing and encouraging, with hundreds of angry comments and shares by a host of environmentally-aware Kenyans, answering (d) and demanding that their forest be treated with the respect that their Nobel Laureate would have expected.

 

Clearly, the Cabinet Secretary was listening. Here’s the Kenya Gazette notice of the ban.

Some Facebook commenters made the valid point that plastics are important and useful in our contemporary lives. Sensible ‘cradle-to-grave’ management of materials production is a perennial concern of environmental agencies worldwide.

But the fact remains that with current careless environmental policy, the weight of plastics in the ocean will outweigh the weight of fish by 2015. And already, marine food chains are contaminated by the micro-plastic particles than emanate from the non-biodegradable physical breakdown of things like supermarket bags.

More countries must urgently follow the lead of Kenya and Rwanda and other in banning plastics before we all choke on our own refuse.

 

Mar 03

Control Your Dog — Even in Off-Leash Areas

Dog Control

Click here for more Dog Guidelines.

Dec 22

Updated Karura Forest Map Now Available

New Karura Map

Dec 08

Karura 2017 Calendar Reduced to 400/=!

Karura Calendar 2017FEBRUARY SALE: NOW ONLY KES 400/=

Get your 2017 FKF calendar at any main gate or the KFEET office.

 

Sep 12

Bikes now for hire at Kiambu Road gate

Uni students deciding whether to walk or ride from Sharks...

Uni students deciding whether to walk or ride from Sharks…

There are now bikes for hire at Gate C on Kiambu Road (a.k.a. Sharks Gate). You asked, we listened. There is a new depot at Sharks open 7 days a week, 8:00-18:00 (last time for returns: no hires after 16:00). Prices remain the same, 500/= for a two-hour hire. There are 15 top-notch trail bikes to choose from with more on order. Remember: please wear helmets, and shout ‘Coming through!’ or ‘Track left/right!’ when bearing down on walkers from behind. Enjoy!

May 25

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016

One again — three years in a row — visitors have given Karura top marks as the 4th best attraction (out of 112 Things to Do) in Nairobi.

 

May 15

Karura Colobus Translocation Comes to Successful Close

Settling in…

NEWS FLASH — NEW BABY BORN. One of our females who was pregnant during the translocation operation has given birth! This is excellent news, as trauma of the translocation often leads to miscarriage. Mother and daughter/son are doing fine.

The translocation of an endangered sub-species of Colobus Monkeys successfully come to a close in March with the release of the last batch of seven black-and-whites in the Sigiria side of Karura Forest, including one babe-in-arms. The project is part of FKF’s continuing effort to return Karura to its original state to provide ecosystem services for all.

The Karura Colobus monkey transaction project is one of the most successful ever undertaken for arboreal primates with a success rate of 94%!

Peter Fundi and his team from the Institute for Primate Research have continued to brave steep slopes and colobus-unfriendly farmers on the edge of the Aberdares to capture and release into Sigiria 29 monkeys. The forth and last batch of monkeys was held at the new acclimatisation cage not far from Junction 69 for two days and released to freedom on Friday, 4 March.

The target of 120 in the Main Forest and 30 in Sigiria — calculated on the basis of estimated availability of food plants for the monkeys — was nearly reached just as the capture permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service expired. The total number in Karura is now 142, including seven infants conceived and born in the forest: a great start for a health population.

The black-and-whites are settling in and beginning to spread out. Andrew Kuria, the IPR-FKF Colobus Field Assistant reports that the Sigiria newcomers all are doing well and a few have penetrated as far as Junction 63. And in the main forest,  they are regularly spotted along the Family Trail between Junctions 2 and 3, and now, with the holding cage moved closer to the Karura River, along the Mau-Mau Trail and near Junction 23.

The re-ntroduction of Colobus Monkeys (Colobus guereza kikuyuensis) began in early 2014. Under the careful and experienced protocols of the Institute of Primate Research (http://www.primateresearch.org/), FKF, along with KFS and KWS, and with more generous support from AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) has brought this iconic highlands primate sub-species back to Karura Forest from remnant, endangered populations on the fringes of the Aberdares in the region of Kiribati and Wanjohi.

Free at last!

The releasees cannot believe their eyes: look at all the food!!

The isolated animals are gently encouraged to seek food in humane trap cages. The monkeys are first released in a large holding-acclimatisation cage in a hidden location in the heart of Karura, as you can see in the video. Colobus can now be spotted them in the forest canopy as you walk through the indigenous parts of the forest. Look for the conspicuous bushy white tale. And see more images on the FKF Facebook page by clicking here.

 

Sep 29

Tara Path Now On-Leash for Dogs

Dog Walkers in northern part of the main forest Please Take Note. Tara Path together with the new picnic site along the Ruaka River near the Tree Outlook Platform is now an On-Leash zone.

Dogs on LeashThe whole of Wangari Maathai Track and Muhugu Trail remains off-leash, for the time being (see map). That still gives you and your dog over 8 km of trail on which to exercise. Note that the area to the south (left as you are walking from Sharks Gate) of Wangari Maathai Track is strictly a no-go wildlife zone down to the Karura River.

There have been more incidents of dogs bothering visitors and killing wildlife — recently a Suni was torn to pieces by two ridgebacks whose owner was obviously unable to control them and seemed indifferent to what was happening. 

 

WALKING YOUR DOG IN A OFF-LEASH AREA IS NOT A LICENCE TO HUNT OR HASSLE VISITORS OR ATTACK OTHER DOGS. DOGS MUST BE UNDER CONTROL AT ALL TIMES, EVEN IN OFF-LEASH AREAS. OFFENDERS SHALL BE SUMMARILY BANNED FROM THE FOREST.

Thanks for your cooperation.

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