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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.

 

Apr 25

Useful Karura Contact Numbers

Kenya Forest Service
Corp. Okoth . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0721 483017
Sgt. Muturi . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0712 575708
Sgt. Catherine . . . . . . . . . . . 0725 370990
Ag RC Dickson Njiru . . . . . . . . . 0727 818963
John Orwa, Chief Forester . . . . . . 0727 818963
Fredrick Mutisya, Forester . . . . . 0722 581402

Friends of Karura Forest
John Chege, Chief Scout . . . . . . . 0724 215423
Peter Kamau, Dep. Chief Scout . . . . 0720 350206
Peter Njui, G4S . . . . . . . . . . . 0722 846264
Moses Mauka, FKF Ops. Mgr. . . . . . 0721 111086
Karanja Njoroge, FKF Chair . . . . . 0729 030301
Cristina Boelcke-Croze, Vice-Chair. . 0702 633613

Please make a note of these numbers and carry your mobile with you. Keep to the marked trails and exercise caution particularly when they are wet and slippery. Note that mobile reception is virtually non-existent along the Karura River between the Mau-Mau Caves and  the Waterfall.

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