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Monday, Dec. 31, 2007

Milwaukee Zoological Society

Nov. 24: Today we leave for Ika, a remote patrol post on the Salonga River about six hours from Etate, our main research station. Our objective is to continue to survey bonobos upriver from Etate in the strip of land bordered by the Yenge and Salonga rivers. We want to know whether the bonobo population continues or whether it ends at some point, limited by either habitat changes or poaching. Based on previous excursions, we know that as we move further away from Etate, poaching increases while the forest remains the same. At the same time, bonobos are present, but they are less densely populated.
Monday, Dec. 31, 2007

Milwaukee Zoological Society

Nov. 26-29: Days begin to blur. Our progress is slowed by daily torrential downpours. We walk from sunup to sundown. We plan our routes and campsites according to where we are most likely to find water at the end of the day. Despite the rains, finding potable water is difficult, since the springs we seek may be bordered by a kilometer of swampland. I’m never too keen on sleeping in swamps, but occasionally we have to. If we stop too early in the day to make camp, the honeybee scouts find us. They relay their discovery to their hive, and by next morning they inundate us with legions of their kind that crawl over and into our backpacks, our clothing and food. …

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