- Published 31/10/2017 It’s looking a lot like Christmas … at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Keep up-to-date with our conservation team in Madagascar.
It’s a 4am start to release Ivan back in the tree where we caught him. He is fully recovered doing a Marcel Marceau impression inside his pillowcase. He climbs into the branches, his collar antenna stuck out at a jaunty angle.
We split into two teams for the rest of the day, the guides and Andy, a field assistant, go off on a spent dart hunt through the forest, while Michelle, Gráinne and I head off to investigate the area’s tourist camp that was recently devastated by a cyclone. It’s a hike of an hour or so, round trip, across the river.
The camp was set up to bring revenue into the park, an area rarely frequented by tourists due to the remoteness of the site and lack of infrastructure. The idea is to encourage tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the Critically Endangered Blue-Eyed Black Lemur to come to the area and camp for a few days. Tourism will help to fuel the local economy through job creation and purchasing local goods. Tourists would benefit from the tent shelters, bush kitchen facilities and cook, and knowledgeable guides fluent in French, Malagasy and (some) English. With a little help, the repairs to the camp should not take long and the camp should be up and running by the start of the coming dry season in June.
Tent shelters at the tourist camp being rebuilt after the cyclone.
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