Python in the Dugout and Guns in the Forest

python in a dugout
This spectacular python washed up dead on a bank of the Lomami River. The fisherman who found it could not explain why it died. He did know another case though where a python died after swallowing an antelope whose horns perforated its gut. Not the case here.

Lomami fisherman's pirogue
To get an estimate of the size of the python above, here is a typical fisherman’s dugout with its more typical cargo of fish, paddled up to our large dugout to sell.

Maurice made his way back to Kisangani by foot, Lualaba river-boat and motorcycle to give John the New Year’s report from Camp Bonobo and Katopa.   The photo of the python was part of the report.  A more serious aspect:  Maurice found a resurgence of hunting including a return of elephant hunters to search out the few isolated herd-fragments near the Lomami.

Elephant poachers in Katopa
Two elephant hunters armed with an army Kalashnikov came into Katopa village to ask for information concerning elephants.

Reloading 12gauage shot gun shells
Reloading shot-gun shells. Why buy new ones when it is much cheaper to recuperate the empty shell from the forest floor and then reload it with powder and shot (both widely available)?

When Maurice left Camp Bonobo to head north to meet John in Kisangani, he left a dedicated group headed by Christian .  Now a second team is joining us here, at Kindu .   They are coming up the Lualaba by dugout.  From here they will head by bicycle to replace those who have already spent more than a month at Camp Bonobo.


  1. Posted 2009-02-09 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Holy shit, that snake is huge !

  2. Terese Hart
    Posted 2009-02-09 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I thought it was pretty impressive too! Wonder how old it was when it died?

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