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 tried to trap it using a Kenya Wildlife Service lion trap baited with offal, but other nocturnal animals kept springing the trap. A large team of FKF Scouts was deployed to try to see if the hyena was still in the forest and to warn visitors.
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.
Both 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, as well as keeping your dogs on the designated trails.
Dog owners: Please help ensure that we do not lose the privilege of walking dogs in a national forest reserve.
Check out a recent announcement on Dog Control here.