TEAASEEERRRS! Kenya bat trip!
Photos by Greg Mercer (second photo) - he and Emily Ward (third photo) were the stellar documentary crew that accompanied me in and out of the caves of Kenya in the pursuit of bats at the beginning of the month.
Top photo: Dr. Paul Webala, biologist and the head of the Kenya Bat Research Project. He is responsible for compiling an echolocation call library; a searchable database that will eventually allow mammalogists to survey the bats in an area simply by the identification of their calls. This trip would not have been possible, nor as fun, without Paul.
Greg Mercer and Emily Ward outside of the volcanic caverns of Mt. Suswa. It takes a special kind of person to get on their knees and crawl through guano or traverse deep into hot, smelly caves and endure bats colliding into your face, but these two did so with vim and vigor. My job was a walk in the park compared to what they had to do in being responsible for documenting the expedition.
Fourth photo, l-r: Dr. Bruce Patterson, curator of mammals at The Field Museum and an integral part of the bar project. Bruce has decades of experience not only studying bats across the world, but also in doing field work in Kenya. He’s responsible for a bringing a lot of the information about the Man-eaters of Tsavo to light. Paul is in the back, and I’m curiously looking I to a net as we release some Greater mastiff bats. The gentleman between Paul and I is Mike, a volunteer of the Kenyan National Museum and biology student. Those little white dots are beetles flying around.
I think the last photo sums up my feelings about the trip.