Motivated by their love for nature and the desire to contribute towards the conservation of Africa’s most endangered primate, the Cross River Gorilla, two French volunteers, Maillard Francette and her son Pascal Maillard flew to Cameroon on October 26, 2015. Their destination: the Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex (LHCC).
By Asoh Bedwin
Once in the Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex, Francette and Pascal headed for the Proposed Mak-betchou Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary where they are engaged in tracking and monitoring largemammals including the Cross River Gorilla, the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee, Drill, and the African Elephant, while recording signs like dung, feeding, nests, etc.
Principal amongst Francette’s and Pascal’s expectations is to see the Cross Gorilla and other large mammals in their natural habitat.
Prior to the field expedition, the volunteers attended an orientation session at the ERuDeF Institute during which they were drilled on the environmental code, data collection techniques, expedition rules and regulations and what is expected of them in the field.
They were also enlightened on the various programmes and projects of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the ERuDeF Institute.
The volunteers also had time to visit some interesting sites in Buea; stopping and taking photos, and asking questions for clarification. They also pausedto ask questions on the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.