Serengeti Field Diaries

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July 28, 2015
Trunk Show

A female African elephant and her baby make a striking image in size and scale while traveling across the Serengeti savanna in Tanzania.

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January 19, 2010
Slideshow: Safeguarding the Serengeti Ecosystem

By vaccinating domestic dogs against diseases such as rabies and canine distemper, Lincoln Park Zoo and its partners benefit the entire Serengeti ecosystem—including people, wildlife and domestic animals. See how with our Safeguarding an Ecosystem slideshow.

December 16, 2009
Walking into a Buffalo!

The Serengeti is a fantastic place to work. While we hash out project logistics on the porch of our house, herds of buffalo frequently wander through the yard or dwarf mongoose run from rock pile to rock pile.

From being here, I’ve learned so much about the resident wildlife and what it means to work in the field setting. The little things I hadn’t even considered have suddenly been brought to my attention. Things like how does the field team power their laptops when the house is not hooked up to the power grid?

December 15, 2009
Serengeti Scenes

A meal on the savanna.

Early Saturday morning, we were driving and came upon four lionesses with four young cubs and one older cub feasting on a yearling wildebeest. It was amazing how they all were sharing their meal with minimal disputes. The cubs even got their share. We must have watched for an hour just enthralled by their strength and hunger.

December 15, 2009
Of Bucket Showers and Outhouses…

After a week in Arusha at the biannual research conference of the Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), our party arrived in Seronera, the main camp in the Serengeti, where Lincoln Park Zoo coordinates the Serengeti Health Initiative.

December 15, 2009
Tracking a Lioness

A lioness in the grass, displaying the radio collar that enables Serengeti scientists to track her.

This morning I drove around with Ingela, a Serengeti Lion Project field technician. She’s collecting baseline data on all the lion prides in the Serengeti for Craig Packer, Ph.D., with whom I’m writing a grant on the ecology of aging in African lions.

December 10, 2009
Arriving in the Serengeti

After two flights, a bus ride to Arusha and several hours in the car to drive into the park, we have finally arrived in the Serengeti for our annual project trip. This is my first time in the region, and I am amazed at how dry it is here, despite being in the middle of the short rainy season.

On the way to the park we stopped briefly to get a glimpse of the Ngorogoro Crater, which is a huge open valley where the Masaai tribe and their cattle live alongside zebra, wildebeest and water buffalo.

December 4, 2009
Catching Up With Cattle

Team member Machunde Bigambo takes blood from a goat outside a "boma."

I spent this last week with one of the founding members of the Carnivore Disease Project, Dr. Sarah Cleaveland from the University of Glasgow.

November 9, 2009
The Serengeti Health Initiative: Eliminating Rabies

A man carries his dog to be vaccinated.

Vaccinating dogs is hazardous at the best of times, but when the dogs in question are semi-feral, a whole new level of skill and speed is needed. One must approach the dog from behind, syringe in hand, and the vaccination needs to be completed in a single-handed rapid action.

October 2, 2009
Author Alexander McCall Smith Visits Serengeti

Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, visited the Serengeti in June to showcase his support for rabies vaccination efforts managed by Lincoln Park Zoo.

McCall Smith and his wife were hosted by Sarah Cleaveland, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Glasgow, Lincoln Park Zoo collaborator and director of the Alliance for Rabies Control.

September 28, 2009
Lincoln Park Zoo Supports World Rabies Day

Today marks the third annual World Rabies Day. This event, organized by the Alliance for Rabies Control, is aimed at raising awareness about the impact of rabies on people and animals as well as the importance of vaccination programs to prevent the disease.

As part of our Serengeti Health Initiative, Lincoln Park Zoo is leading efforts to vaccinate domestic dogs in Tanzania’s Serengeti region, preventing the spread of the disease among dogs, people and wildlife.

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