« Vraiment l’inquiétude est très grande »
That disquieting message was written by Crispin just before he left Obenge two weeks ago
John and I are in snowy upstate New York where we wait for the New Year to come round the globe. We are uneasy. Ashley just sent us a message from England written five clock hours closer to the New Year. He is uneasy. And we are in regular touch with Crispin who has now arrived in Kisangani. He, too, is uneasy. He is a couple hours closer to the New Year in steamy Kisangani. More importantly he is closer to the military. Will they help us ?
A few weeks ago. Major Ranger, the main elephant and bonobo poacher in Obenge, is between Ashley in the middle and Crispin on the far right
What is the source of this “inquiétude” , of this disquiet ?
- the fast-disappearing elephant..who carries its own doom – ivory – in its mouth
- the bonobo whose small range is already criss-crossed by poachers and whose “safe” islands are ever fewer, ever smaller.
The threats are immediate.
HERE ARE SOME BAD SIGNS
Crispin wrote: the day after Ashley left Obenge, Major Ranger killed two bonobo “They killed them just as night fell and they were on their nests. They left the corpses in the forest overnight.”
Up in the tree on the left. The bonobo nest the next morning.
Lambert, who is still in Obenge, wrote : Colonel Thoms wife is bringing a load of munitions up the Lomami to Major Ranger. Major Ranger gathered the youth of Obenge and fired thirteen shots in the air. Lambert’s fear is the New Year. It is a time of major celebration in Congo. Money is needed for celebration. Ivory is money.
Most hunters, like these, in the Lomami forest are killing forest antilope and monkeys. It is different to hunt for bonobo, the Congo’s own great ape, or the forest elephant. It is not only illegal to kill these but also malicious.
BUT – HERE ARE SOME GOOD SIGNS
Crispin has been in touch with the military in Kisangani. They say that they will mount an “operation” to Opala and on to Obenge.
A successful operation could stop major destruction before it is too late for the forest elephant of the Lomami and the bonobo of Obenge.
We can facilitate this military mission. Their deployment is often delayed for lack of resources. We facilitated the last mission that got Colonel Thoms out of the forest with just 300 USD. Can you help us facilitate this one.