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Friday, December 16, 2011
Visiting Anna in Maswa Village
Lesanna, Felix and I made it into Maswa and caught up with Anna Czupryna and Chunde Bigambo, one of our Tanzanian field assistants (who came to Chicago in April 2010 through a Wildlife Without Borders grant). After a delicious dinner of rice and chips (i.e., fried potatoes), we spent the night at the Hotel Lancester (no relation to Felix!).
The next morning we had a breakfast of eggs and chapatti, and then we went to our first household in the Iyogelo village, which is one of Anna’s non-vaccinated villages. The lady of the house was very inviting; Anna and Chunde talked with her about her dogs, both named Simba, which means “lion” in Kiswahili. Because dogs are the guardians of the household, they are given “strong and power” names like Simba and Obama.
One of the dogs was a little fearful of us until Lesanna gave her a little leftover pizza in her dish. It was too enticing to resist, and her owner caught her. Afterwards, Anna used her Polaroid camera to take a photo of everyone in the house. After Mrs. Gasomi changed into a beautiful outfit, she asked us to be in the photo with her. We gladly accepted this honor.
We went to three more households before returning to the hotel so Anna and Chunde could process fecal samples for stress hormone analysis using the field method we designed. Then we took a bucket shower before heading to dinner.
Serengeti Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is leading the Serengeti Health Initiative, a collaborative effort to preserve the wildlife of this African ecosystem while benefiting local people. Our Serengeti field diaries feature updates as scientists conduct vaccination efforts, collaborate with Tanzanian partners and encounter the Serengeti’s famed wildlife.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction at the zoo and in the wild.
A graduate student in the department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Anna is studying how rabies vaccination campaigns of domestic dogs in villages around Serengeti National Park affect population dynamics.
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