|Scott Johnson is our guide and He was amazing and knowledgeable|
|Dry and dusty on the drive|
|The poverty Kills you|
Dr. LaFrance approached the Djiboutian government and requested land to build a Refuge for the animals’ protection. A small plot of unwanted land (35 acres in 2003, expanded to 70 acres in 2006, but now will more than 200 areas) was loaned (not permanently) to Association DECAN, but he must submit a report every 2 years in order to prove the worth of allowing the Djiboutian government to continue to let the Refuge use the land. Support for the Refuge is completely by donations; no assistance from the government is provided. It is 100% non-profit.
Steppe Eagle – a bird of prey from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes to Mongolia. The European and Central Asian eagles winter in Africa. National animal of Egypt.
ANIMALS I couldn't get photos of
Wild African Ass – a wild member of the horse family; believed to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey. Live in desert areas of East Africa, but only about 500 remain in the wild today. Horizontal black stripes on its legs resubliming those of a zebra. Have a very tough digestive system which can break down desert vegetation and extract moisture and have been known to drink salty and even blackish water. They have large ears with excellent hearing and to help in cooling. Have a tendency to investigate potentially dangerous situations first before fleeing.
Baboon – Very smart and run in “gangs” 20 – 30 baboons. Have been known to break into two groups, with half of the gang throwing rocks at the front of a home, getting the occupants to come outside to see what is going on, while the other half of the gang goes into the back of the home to look for and steal food.
Barbary Falcon – Similar to the Peregrine Falcon, but smaller, prefers semi-desert and open hills. “Leftie”, was confiscated from its owner who had amputated part of one of his wings to keep him from being able to fly away.
The bus had to stop during the drive because a giant herd of goats came running out. If you hit a goat you not only pay for it but also for its children and grand children... so avoid the goats!.
|This place is guarded 24hours a day. not just for the animals.. They have dirt.|
Thats right, the natives try to steal the dirt. My guess is they will use it to grow plants or food.
There are guards on duty at all times, Scott told us do not wonder off.
|Meet Awale: we became very close- he pee'd on me.|
Scott is so friendly with these cheetahs they treat him like a house cat to an owner. When we walked out they came right to him.
Awale was the nicest of the cats- he actually would walk up and roll over like he wanted to have his belly rubbed.. Don't do it unless you have super great trainers/guys who know better with you like we did.
|No wonder animals eat the hell out of gazelles- They walk right over to you.. And they look delicious.|
They followed us around and they kick and bite- thank god Scott had a trick, he held long sticks in the air and they thought it was a taller Ostrich.
|What are you looking at?|
Pelzeln Gazelle – most common in Djibouti (The land of the gazelle). Both sexes have horns. Although illegal to do so, it is believed as many as 200 gazelles are kept as pets in Djibouti City. For every 1 gazelle alive in captivity, another 3 die from being taken away from its mother. So for the approx. 200 in the city, another 600 died.
|The zebras kept following us- they are awesome|
Can hide in tall grass or appear as one large animal in a close grouped heard. Have excellent hearing, smell, taste and eyesight and believed to see in color.
|120degrees- high humidity|
Tortoise – with two of the four largest tortoises in the world, the refuge has more than 30 in all. The Leopard tortoise (100 years – 120 pounds) and the African Spurred tortoise (80 years – 150 pounds)
|Watched the turtles get it on! Loud turtle sex!|
|Caracal African wild cat or a Lynx|
It is best known for its spectacular skill at hunting birds, able to snatch a bird in flight, sometimes more than one at a time.
If no cover is available they will flatten themselves against the ground and remain motionless, allowing its coat colour to act as camouflage. Then spring into action.
Caracal – a fiercely territorial small to medium-sized cat. Name comes from a Turkish wording meaning “black ear”. Although once thought to be related to the lynx due to the tuffs of hair on the tips of their ears, they are actually more closely related to the African golden cat and the serval. Its ears are controlled by 20 different muscles. An ambush predator, it is best known for its incredible skill at hunting birds, able to jump and snatch a bird in flight, and sometimes more than one at a time.
|The Big Cats|
|Getting stared down.|
|The cage they came in!|
|About 3 feet high|
Striped Hyena – Lars and Suzie. Master scavengers, capable of digesting things other animals would dare not touch. They also have bone crushing jaw strength so it can even crush and consume bone.
|My Favorite is the hyenas|
Next thing I knew we were in Jetty then crossing the Alps in to Paris.
I can't believe we are on our way home.
|Paris from above|