With our backpacks strapped we headed down the road and on towards the beautiful Shimoni Forest. A little bush-whacking and thorn-dodging later we’d made it to our destination.
|Leah our conservation Intern heading to the forest|
Along our journey we ran into our lovely friends, the Angola Black and White Colobus monkey, a Unique species that seem to effortlessly flourish in Shimoni’s dense forest. We paused our survey from time to time to observe our black and white buddies swinging through the canopy above us, their faces strangely resembling grumpy old men staring you down from the comfort of a rocking chair.
|A group of grumpy old men|
|A male Colobus|
We made sure to count all of the perched primates on our way through the forest, invading their privacy by examining their behinds (white stripe for males) to determine gender and cooing at their adorable young.
As we sat to enjoy our abundance of sandwiches at lunch time we noticed our Colobus count was abnormally high for an average morning in the forest and, in fact, we were approaching the record of 60 monkeys seen in one survey day. From then on it became the objective of the day: beat the record. We looked up in every tree, binoculars at eye level, we were at the ready. It seemed the more we looked the more we found, groups of 7, 10, 12 Colobus just on the road home! We found ourselves quickly surpassing the record and still going strong, more and more primates were popping their heads out to greet us.
|Watching them, watching us|
When we reached the path back to the GVI house we did an official count and found that we’d seen a total of 85 monkeys throughout our day in the forest, completely shattering the old record. And considering the estimated population of Colobus in Shimoni East is approximately 150, I’d say we did pretty dang well.