Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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chad_zoo_1 Working as a volunteer relief worker in a hot, dry country such as Chad where temperatures easily rise into the high 50’s C and the average annual temperature is 45 degrees C is usually very challenging so it is a welcome relief when invited to take time off and visit the local zoo with a number of local IRFF volunteers and their families.

It isn’t so much a case of enjoying the summer sun – there is the dry (really hot) season and the rainy (often extremely wet) season – so it’s a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea whether you prefer one or the other. Still, if you are going to visit the zoo it is better to have the dry even if it is hot.

chad_zoo_40 The zoo is well run and makes a lot of effort, in a country where past wars have decimated the animal population, to provide sanctuary for a number of smaller animals such as monkeys, hyenas and an old lion who was once a family pet but became a bit too big and too rough for its owner. There is also a 250 year old (hmm!?) tortoise – at least that’s what I was told – and looking at the speed he was moving it wouldn’t surprise me as it probably took him that long to walk across his garden.

chad_zoo_43 Posing with the owner of the zoo – he is the big man in the centre – a lovely man with a huge heart.

The zoo does really well to serve people in the area, particularly the schoolchildren as it gives them an opportunity to learn about African wild life and there is a nice colourful exhibition of early African life which I found very appealing and, no doubt, the children would too. Looking at some of the artwork in the zoo of times past I’ve no doubt the children were happy things have changed…


chad_zoo_14 As you make your way through the zoo, among the animals are the various exhibits. At one point there is this display is of an old chief, no doubt in the tranquillity of his village hut in peaceful days gone by enjoying his fleeting moment of power or perhaps sharing his great wisdom in a trying moment of village life.

chad_zoo_46 As the day passes by inevitably one has to eat and on this occasion we have our lunch in the picnic area of the zoo before it’s time to leave to go back to N’Djamena, the capital city about 25 miles away. It was a great day out but I sigh for the poor animals that can no longer freely roam the Savannah as in days gone by. But at least these few are now protected and can live out their days in peace. Many thanks to the zoo owner: one man, who had a dream of an animal sanctuary and a place for children to learn about their disappearing wildlife and is now living out that dream.

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