kechi wata

Fresh water is always useful. Rain, and especially the runoff from building roofs is often caught in buckets on the street.

kechiWata_DKortephoto

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Sunday rain

Sellers take shelter, waiting out a rainstorm under any cover available. Monrovia, Liberia.

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cusimanse

A cusimanse, Crossarchus obscurus, roams the property of Elizabeth Village Resort in Buchanan, Liberia. These mongoose-like animals, called Du in Liberia, are tolerant of people, which is probably their downfall, as they are easily hunted, especially with dogs. The young, when captured alive, are sometimes kept as pets. They eat mainly invertebrates, snails, crabs, and in this case, table scraps.

cusimanse,

cusimanse, Crossarchus obscurus, also known as “du” in Liberia 

As with all wildlife trafficking in Liberia, keeping, hunting, killing and selling wild animals for bushmeat or pet trade is now illegal.

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afterglow

Monrovia, Liberia. The setting sun has dropped below the horizon off the coast of Monrovia, leaving behind the fading trace of its radiance.

afterglow_DKortephoto

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raccoon for sale

A young man poses with what he says is a raccoon. In Liberia, wildlife seems to be misnamed with American species that don’t actually live in Africa. Duikers are deer, a hyrax a tree goat, crocodiles are alligators, manatees are water cows, pangolins are ants-bears, monitor lizards are iguanas, civets are raccoons…

Young African civet, taken from its mother in the Liberian bush.

Young African civet, taken from its mother in the Liberian bush.

He wants $20US for the frightened animal, and says the mother raccoon ran away and left him. His sister captured him in Bong County, about two hours upcountry from Monrovia, and passed him along to sell. Within the past year, Liberia has made it illegal to possess, capture, kill, or sell wild animals for bush-meat, or the pet trade. Few people know the current law, for there is little education, publicity or enforcement.

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dusk, West Point, Monrovia

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Dusk settles on Kru Beach in the seaside community of West Point in Monrovia, Liberia.

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Benson River, Buchanan

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Waiting for canoes to arrive. Benson River, Buchanan, Liberia.

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At rest. Canoe on the Benson River in Buchanan, Liberia.

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good morning Tubmanburg

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Descending the hill on the last mile of coal-tar road in Bomi County, Liberia.

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bats of Mamba Point, Monrovia

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Straw-colored fruit bat leaving its tree canopy roost in early evening.

Scientists converged on Mamba Point in Monrovia over the weekend to try and sample some of the thousands of fruit bats that have been roosting on the grounds of U.S. Embassy. As many as 100,000 bats are estimated to call Mamba Point home during the dry season, from November through April. The scientists are taking samples to assess the threat of viral and disease transmission among the large population of bats. There is concern that bats may be carriers of viruses, including possibly ebola virus, and since bats are eaten by some Liberians, this constitutes a health concern.  The bats are released unharmed after samples taken and data collected.

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Straw-colored fruit bats, yellow fur with brown wings and head, are most common in Monrovia, and can have a wingspan of more than 20 inches.

Other locations and bat species throughout Liberia are included in the study. The fruit bats of Mamba Point, mostly Straw-colored fruit bats, roost in the canopies of palm trees and other large trees in the Mamba Point neighborhood. With the coming rains, they have little protection from the wet and windy weather, and migrate to other locations in Africa to escape these conditions.

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Restless fruit bats jostling for position in tree canopy before leaving en masse to feed in the night.

Large clouds of bats leave their roosts in the early evening, following the coastline or river channels as they search for flowering and fruiting trees on which to feed. They rely on their excellent sense of smell and large eyes adapted to the darkness. Most return to their roost by sunrise.

A flutter of fruit bats hover before entering a tree canopy.

Fruit bats hover before entering a tree canopy.

 

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sellin’ catfish

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Catfish and crabs from the sea. Fish market, Benson at Mechlin. Monrovia, Liberia.

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