Mamiwata is an African name for a spirit believed to be embodied by the manatee. This blog chronicles my search for the elusive African manatee, and my exploration to understand its biology, habitat and preservation needs, economic and cultural significance. So little is known about this animal, yet it is intensely hunted almost everywhere it exists and may already be gone from much of its previous range. In 2006 I was inspired to go find and study them, starting in Gabon.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A few wildlife shots from Ghana (sorry, no manatees)
Although I didn’t see a manatee myself while I was in Ghana, my priority was working with the participants to ensure they have the skills they need when they return to their countries. We often split the group in two: one group stayed at camp with me for lectures while the other half went out on the water; the following day they switched. In my free time I did have the opportunity to walk around and photograph some local wildlife near camp:
There were seemingly endless species of gorgeous dragonflies and butterflies
We had a pair of big (~8 inch long) skinks that patroled through camp, but they were wary of us and hard to photograph. The male was bright pink on the sides. Edem caught some cool frogs on his nighttime walks through the bush... he also saw some big snakes including pythons (which is why I wasn't interested to go with him!)
I'm standing next to a giant termite mound Additionally, we had a couple exciting moments when a cobra got under someone’s tent, and twice we had LARGE scorpions in camp. You can believe that I made sure my tent was zipped tightly closed each night!
The cobra had to be killed, it was just too dangerous and there was no way to capture it and move it to another location. It was dissected and found to have recently eaten a toad (you can see the lump on the body in the photo below)The scorpions were bigger than my hand!