Posted: October 11, 2012

Name: Stefani Erdahl
School: Washington State University
Major: Psychology
Program: Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya

Habari yenu! Today we had our first tracking class… and it was so awesome! We were out in the open, at Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary with a local guide named Babu from the community wildlife service. He spotted various tracks (and poo) that we had to identify. It was really difficult; everything looked the same besides the obvious elephant tracks. It was a little nervewracking being out in the open where there are wild animals  everywhere but it was worth it!

We tracked grants and Thomson’s Gazelles,  elephants, giraffes (babies and adult), elands, impalas, hippos, dik diks, domestic cats, ostriches, hyenas, jackals, and wildebeest! And we came across an elephant  graveyard… which was crazy. The bones were drug all over the place until we  finally came upon the larger pieces.

Yesterday we surveyed a 4km area of land  for land use and animal conflict issues, and were able to interview local people. It  was surprising that the people all said they loved wildlife and wanted to help  save it, just not when they destroyed their crops. They were so casual about the fact that an elephant destroyed their crop last night. It must be common. They  just said they chased it out with torches, and that they wish the government would  compensate them like they had promised for damages. One family has been waiting  5 years for pay!

Today we are going to a cultural boma and tomorrow is the big census at Amboseli! Wish us luck! Kwa heri!