An update from Oria Douglas Hamilton on the Samburu Floods

Good evening Susannah

Thank you so much for sending me the letter written by Trish and for your support. I so liked her and WHAT an experience for all of them. But luckily, we managed to get out and no one was lost, though all our possessions went with the water. Have been through a lot in the last months, BUT thanks to the generosity of some of our clients and the huge support and work by all the staff, we are rising fast out of the quagmire and will re-open end May with our first clients from the UK who are only coming to EW for 5 days and back to London. We saved three quarters of our stuff, all picked out of the bushes and dug out of the mud - repaired and washed 6 times, and everything is as good as new. AMAZING will send you some pix.

The Park is spectacular, as never before, all the elephants are back and we have the whole place to ourselves. Research continues and many interesting things are being discovered. For one, we have just noticed that several of our families, (such as Spice Girls, American Indians, Winds) have been seriously hit by the spate of killings for ivory and have lost most of their senior elephants, leaving only one female with 6-8 youngsters. This is a very serious situation. We do have a huge Chinese construction company nearby building the roads and I cannot help thinking that many of these tusks have found a way into this camp. We have also had some young Dutch researchers making a detailed inventory of all the vegetation (best time) and they have found hundreds of herbs and flowering bushes, creepers and grass and collecting what elephants like best - it's a feast for our eyes and for the elephant's palate.

Please do stay in touch with me or with my office - we are the only camp open along the river and the buzz in camp is fantastic. Yesterday even a hippo walked by to say hello, not seen for years - a leopard with cubs, cheetah and lions.

Did you see the Hello spread with my daughter Saba in camp?

warm regards
Oria


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