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Bongo Sighting in the Aberdares

On Monday the 12th of January 2004, just after 8.30am, Corporal James Nyagah of Kenya Wildlife Service got close enough to a wild male Bongo in the Aberdare NP to take a photograph (shown above). This is thought to be the first photograph taken of a Bongo in the Aberdares for over a decade.

Cpl Nyagah tracked the group of an estimated 14 Bongo through very thick vegetation that is common in the Aberdare forests. The donation of cameras by The Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence Fund has enabled photographic evidence to be recorded proving the increasing population of Bongo. This is a testament to the recuperation of the Aberdare ecosystem.

Kenya Wildlife Service

The KWS Surveillance Program with the support of several other donors is now fully operational. Already several different herds of Bongo have been identified and their locations recorded. Once complete, the program will give a fairly accurate indication of numbers and dispersal of Bongo within the Aberdare ecosystem.

History of the Aberdare Bongo

In the 1980s the population was severely damaged by an outbreak of rhinderpest. This is a disease primarily carried by cattle, who should not have been within the park boundaries.

An increase within the last 50 years of hunting with dogs for bush-meat and skins has damaged the population. Previously, Tribal Taboos had prevented this happening.

At Present the ongoing construction of the Aberdare Fence has resulted in a decline of livestock in the park, reducing the risk from disease, and has also dramatically reduced human encroachment and poaching.