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African Jackal in Wolf's Clothing

Ecologist and science journalist, and Bushtracks guest blogger, Cheryl Lyn Dybas explores the recent discovery of the gray wolves living mysteriously amongst Africa’s golden jackals, something which ancient Egyptians may have known long ago.  In The Time of the Jackal Gods It is 2494 B.C., Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty.  A procession makes its way to a sun-temple, where the pharaoh’s Sed Festival, held in the thirtieth year of his reign, is set to begin. A greeting awaits him: two officers wearing caps and tails lined with fur…fur the Egyptians believe came from wolves.  The human sentries represent the twin gods Anubis and Wepwawet. Anubis and Wepwawet were called jackal-gods for the propensity of golden jackals to hunt rodents by night near cemeteries.  But were the gods in fact jackals?  Could one or both have been something else?  Might they have been wolves?  Long-ago Egyptians thought so.  What did they know that we don’t - or didn’t, until recently? 
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Posted in: African Wildlife Conservation, Best Game Viewing Safaris, African Wolves, Jackals

Saving African Elephants in the Serengeti

Ecologist and science journalist Cheryl Lyn Dybas reports on the use of beehives to save African elephants in the Serengeti. Where there are farms along the perimeter of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, there are elephants—and all manner of attempts to prevent crops from being trampled.  Farmers have tried various elephant-deterring techniques, from beating tin cans to lighting fires, most of which haven’t appeared to work. Now officials in Tanzania’s Mara Region near the park have asked authorities to construct fences to keep elephants away from villages and agricultural holdings. The Mara Regional Commissioner, John Tuppa, told a Tanzanian newspaper, The Citizen, that the move will help end destruction of crops by stray elephants. Tuppa is asking for fences to be built as soon as possible.
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Posted in: African Wildlife Conservation, African Honey Beehives, Elephant Conservation

Best African Safaris to See Leopards in Kenya

Cheryl Lyn Dybas transports us to Leopard Gorge, with its rocky caves and outcroppings, in Kenya's Masai Mara. Here wildlife abounds along a road to a netherworld. Road to a Netherworld The gloaming, it’s called, this twilight between day and night.  In myth, the gloaming is the place between the known and the unknown, the ordinary and the extraordinary that you might be witness to on safari in this area of Kenya. It’s also the time when rarely seen creatures emerge from the shadows. Here along the equator in Kenya’s Masai Mara, sunset comes early. Although it’s just after 4:00 p.m., the light turns gold…orange…indigo.
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Posted in: Trips to Kenya, Kenya, Cheryl Lyn Dybas, Masai Mara, Leopards, Kenya Safaris, African Wildlife Safaris, Best Game Viewing Safaris

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