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January 2012 Elephant Field Journal - Part I
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Home > Elephants of Cameroon > About The Project > January 2012 Elephant Field Journal - Part I

January 2012 Elephant Field Journal - Part I

by Mike Loomis

Page 1 : 1-3 January 2012

The journal below is based on the field notes Dr. Loomis took while working in Mount Cameroon National Park. The journal is also annotated with photos and a videoclip. Dr. Loomis's daily diary entries, which are submitted to FieldTripEarth via satellite telephone, can be found on the Elephants of Cameroon: Field Diaries page.

1 January 2012
I left Asheboro, North Carolina around 1045. My friends Ken and Diane Powell took me to the Greensboro airport. I am taking four crates of equipment with me. One piece of equipment is a new dart gun. I wanted to get to the airport in time to make sure everything cleared security. I declared the dart rifle and powder charges when I checked in. Everything cleared through security without problems. My flight left for Atlanta, Georgia on time, and I flew overnight to Paris.

2 January 2012
The flight arrived in Paris a little early. I had a five-hour layover in Paris. I try to schedule at least four hours in Paris to give my baggage a good chance to make the flight to Cameroon. The flight was delayed leaving Paris and arrived in Douala, Cameroon about an hour late. I was met at the Douala airport by Desire Olembe, the financial officer for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Cameroon Coastal Forest Program, and Dr. Atanga Ekobo, the Director of the Coastal Forest Program. Unfortunately, one of my bags did not make the flight to Douala. The baggage agent was able to locate the bag in Paris and said it would arrive tomorrow. The rest of the equipment passed through customs without any problems.

I usually fly into Yaounde, Cameroon, but my entire trip this time will be in southwest Cameroon and the Douala airport is about four hours closer to the town of Limbe, our base for all of the field work. Due to the late flight and lost bag, we did not arrive at the hotel in Limbe until 0100 Tuesday morning.

3 January 2012
I slept late this morning and arrived at the WWF office around 1000. I met with Eno Nku, the WWF Park Advisor for Mt. Cameron National Park and Dr. Ekobo to plan the field program. We will start with a 10-day mission to the southern part of Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP). Depending on our success there, we plan two additional trips of eight days each. One will be in the northwest section of MCNP. The location of the third mission will depend on the outcome of the other two.

I spent the afternoon arranging field equipment. I leave quite a bit of equipment in Cameroon after each trip so that I don't have to carry it back and forth between the US and Cameroon. The humidity here makes everything smell musty. I opened up the crates and placed most of the field equipment in the sun to air out. I had an early dinner and went to bed early.

Next Page : 4-7 January 2012
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