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Mail from the forest

Protecting endangered wildlife hinges on the presence of dedicated people and their physical presence at the place where the species that need protection are living. The LuiKotale Bonobo Project offers a logistic platform that enables scientists, students and volunteers to monitor wild bonobos and their natural range. Due to this presence, menaces can be quickly detected and counter-measures can be implemented. Ever since its foundation, Bonobo Alive has reported about conservation initiatives but little is known about the every-day life of those living and working in the isolated forest refuge. How those people perceive the unusual environment surrounding them, the behavior of the target of their work, and the vicinity of a diverse fauna is rarely communicated and if it is shared, it is reserved for personal blogs. The same applies to the emotional part, the challenges coming along with the demanding job. Occasionally, team members share this kind of information in their emails radiating from the forest camp to the outside world. These letters give insight into life in camp and adventures with wildlife; transpire the scents of village life, the loneliness of a rainy Sunday morning in the forest, and the joy when a hard shift ends. They offer an authentic picture about apes that will perhaps never appear in scientific reports. To share this unfiltered source of first-hand information with those who are interested in the work of Bonobo Alive, selections of “mails from the forest” will be posted on our web page. To preserve the individual flavor of the messages, texts will not be translated but will be posted in the language used by the author.