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Environmental Recording :28 - 10:07 Play :28 - More
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Dawn ambi  

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Red Junglefowl (Domestic type) -- Gallus gallus (Domestic type) 5:04 - 7:58 Play 5:04 - More
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Interview 56:50 - 1:07:34 Play 56:50 - More
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Christophe Boesch  

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Bili Ape  

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Richard Wrangham  

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Bili Ape  

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George Schaller  

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Bili Ape  

Interview 1:12:32 - 1:15:30 Play 1:12:32 - More
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George Schaller  

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Bili Ape  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
8 Feb 2001

    Geography
  • DR Congo
    Orientale
    Locality
  • Bili
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 4.15   25.16667
    Recording TimeCode
  • :28 - 10:07
    Geography
  • DR Congo
    Orientale
    Locality
  • Near Bili
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 4.15   25.16667
    Recording TimeCode
  • 56:50 - 1:15:30
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Show: Bili Ape Expedition
Engineer: Thompson
Date: February 8, 2001

ng = not good
ok= okay
g = good
vg = very good

1 :00 -10:30 Long roll on Bili morning at Nikko's. Birds and cicadas. Fairly quiet, soft snoring @ 2:03, sounds nice. Rooster at

3:57, 4:39, 4:54. Snore at 4:58. Level boost at

5:05 (better). Nice rooster call and response .. .less snore. Peepers in back ...and on ...

11 :00 Second roll, a little more active. Tent zip (faint), more roosters, steps sweeping yard, etc. (AC note: Nikko's place is an old trading post from the days when Bili was prosperous. Several large (but not very) warehouse type buildings in a fenced yard, some machinery. Plaster or mud over brick ...painted a long time ago. Roof of corrugated iron or tin. Some of the walls shot up from the inside) ... more of this roll through 15:15 ... roosters, sweeping.

19:00 Move out of compound onto dirt road. Little voices. Roosters fewer and farther away. Loud chirp like cicada

19:45 Walk on dirt.

21 :30 Stop.

22:12 Stop at village to see leopard skull. CB and RW discuss size in French. Big for here, killed 2 weeks ago ...

23:00 AC, CB, BW & village chief wi stutter. ..

23 :20 Jonas Ericsen on seeing skull earlier. Congolese talk about leopard. JE in Lingali ... professional skinning job...history of skin trade ...

27:30 CB on size (nice babble behind)

28:05 Laughs of villagers

28:30 CB and RW on cross bow: primary tool to shoot the primates ... You have already a tail ... Is it poison, the end? .. RW: with no feathering ... yeah, they have no feathering ... And they have the poison vine, I think, and it has the cuts in it so that even if the monkey pulls it out, you still have something is left in the body ... RW: but are there any on there? .. yeah, it's dark. This is really old. He hasn't kept, I would not go hunting with it because the poison isn't very fresh, so then it's probably not so strong. But don't hurt yourself on it ... RW: no, no ... the black stuff there ... RW: very, very tiny, the pygmies, I mean the ???, make much stronger cuts to hold it in ... RW: so where did these cross bows come from? .. the idea must have come with ?? .. (fades behind villagers).

30:07 Laugh with bow snap

30:25: (ng) RW: this doesn't seem to take advantage of the design of the crossbow ... The bow that they put out is made out of really huge pieces of wood and you can't stretch it without getting on your knees and really using your whole back to pull it back. JE: If you can shoot, the accuracy and the distance you can get the monkeys is so far. RW: Is that, also use a metal tube like this? JB: no, they just have a groove here .. you take the wax out of the sweat bee nest, and you put a ball of wax there. They have much shorter arrows too, shorter and stockier, they push that into the wax to align it. And then they just let it go, and it's amazingly accurate. If you ever shot a gun or anything, you can shoot that one. RW so it could hit a colobus on top of a tree? JE: oh, easily. It has much bigger range than any shotgun or anything.

31 :30 AC: better than a shotgun? JE: That's why it's so bad on the bonobos, because the bonobos usually can find a tree that is high enough that the shotgun b-bs spread out and don't really kill them so there's no use to shooting the shotgun, but those crossbows still go up there. RW: pygmies can't hit monkeys once they get on top of a tree ... Do they have this technique ... no ... so how do they look? Are they shooting with a hand bow? .. Yes, it's an ordinary short bow ... But I don't know what the range is on this .. .it looks very weak. ..you can shoot it if you like.

32:25 Lingali ... being shown the serious crossbow ...

33: 1 0 RW: look at this ... JE: it's based on the old flint lock gun ...

33:40 The technique to use these guns when they hunt elephant is to put an arrow down the pipe with a really broad head. It looks like a lark wing. Then you sneak up the usual 4 meters away and shoot it. He doesn't have any gunpowder, so he can't use it ... RW: so this is not the gun that killed the leopard ... JE: he shot it with a homemade shot gun ...

34:27 They are water pipes, and they just make the whole mechanism themselves.

34:32 Crossbow fire followed by laughter. .. more shoots

34:44 JE: It's a homemade flintlock ... RW: just like a blacksmith ... good grief. . .it goes boof!

35:13 JE: Here they put the matches to ignite the gunpowder that's here ... They put a piece of tin foil over it. They mix the matches with the side of the match box and put it in a piece of tinfoil and stick it over that, and then there is powder here ... and then they put the shells in ... bolts and nuts, pieces of gravel...whatever, see, it is homemade shotgun ... they really make them quite okay. I've seen them made much worse than in this region. You have to pull back the ... here the blacksmith makes the whole mechanism here. Takes an old spring ... (g) I've even seen them use old, shells, old shotgun shells and reload them with the heads of matches. It takes about four packages of matches, then you take the car battery and melt down the lead in the car battery and make your own b¬bs. You repackage it and you refill the, what is it called, the primer and make the whole shell new, and then you shoot it. AC: you sure wouldn't want to miss ... they do develop their whole own way of doing things. It's not so easy just to get hunting of poaching down. It's not so easy to stop the trafficking in European shotgun shells or the ones from Brazil because they develop their own.

37: 10 They used to make their own gunpowder here before the shotgun shells came in. They used bat manure. There are a lot of bat caves around here. They used different levels for different kinds of game. Put in 5 finger for an elephant, three for a pig ... RW: just the dried guano? .. No, they would have to process it and get the glycerin out of it. But that's all gone; with so many shotgun shells coming in it was easier to buy them. Now I think they would go back if they knew how; things have gotten hard here ...JE: still getting powder for these guns quite easily in RCA. They go across and buy it, all the shells for the second, the army rifle to hunt the elephant, and they buy the shells for the fuhl, all those bigger caliber ones buy across the border. Even most of the AK-47 shells used for hunting game they buy across the border ... RW: this is not a local blacksmith ... JE: this originated, this is European-made. The pipe, even the stock ... the pipe is thicker and the stock. See when they got the bigger caliber shells, they'd keep putting in five fingers for an elephant and it would blow and they'd keep coming to me and saying, "can you cut it and weld it." ... discussion of gun stocks ...Using water pipes with shotgun shells ...

40:00 JE: This is an ordinary water pipe, you actually have to make it thinner where it needs to be strongest. This is pretty high quality ... no, this is from a gun, that's why it's such high quality. If you look at the water pipe, you have to knock a chamber out to fit the shells, and the walls are at their thinnest where you need them. It's amazing that they hold. As long as you shoot the shell, but when they want to kill and elephant, you hardly see these down there any more, what they take is this and still put the arrow down, take the b-bs out of the shotgun shell, increase the powder and that's when everything blows ... see a lot of people with all their fingers blown off, the side of their face gone. I've taken a lot of people to the hospital for that ...

41:45 These guys have put leaves to direct. That's only the second group of arrows with leaves I've seen. The rest have to get by with no guidance ...

43:42 Crossbow shot, laughter. ..

45 :30 More talk about size, sex of leopard...

46:00 Slate after the fact: this is a stop in a village where, as we were traveling to camp, there was a leopard skull held up by this kid and we stopped to examine the skin and the skull and ensuing remarks ...Leopard skin and homemade shot guns and Jonas talks about how they make shot guns. Other voices: Christophe, then Jonas and Ron Pontier.

47:57 -49:50 Drum sequence (starts hot, fades). Stopdown mark at 50:35

53 :06 (g) bird cry

54:50 A squawking bird in leopard village. Stopdown at 55:40

55:50 Ambi at Camp 1. Talk in camp ...KA

56:54 CB, RW, AC, George Schaller looking at plaster cast of footprint ... (mostly ok) ...We cast what we thought were typical chimp prints. Could we have mixed them up here somewhere? ...No, no. these are the ones ...Yeah, that's what we find in some riverbeds ... Are you sure it's an adult? ...This was a full-? We get them twenty-eight, we got two centimeters longer than this one ... RW: So George, do you think this is a big chimpanzee? GS: Yeah .. .it's amazing...Yes, maybe it is, but it's huge. I mean, that's got to be a world record ... Yah, we have measured several of twenty-eight centimeters. On this trip, I think we did one of 30, but it's becoming dry now, getting difficult to cast. .. AC: if that's a chimp footprint, you think it's a world record chimp? RW: Yes ...That's what impressed me too, just the size of some of those....RW: so I can't remember about where the thumb is for chimps and gorillas ...Yeah, the angle is...There's more webbing between the fingers in gorillas than chimps, but it's hard to. The mud is never that soft to get all the details. The feces we at after lunch ... Good yes ...

58:38 Christina introduces herself. ..

59:00 As long as we have the map up, do you want to know where we are? This is an old colonial map. You see the road that we just traveled on is still in here. This is the road that you just came on which no longer exists, but obviously was in colonial days a road. So we are near Gitambo or are we further. .. No we are only about nine km in, we are only about here where the mark is. See you've gone up the road ...where the encil mark is? .. And Gitambo, does it exist any more? .. No, there's no body living along this road any more. There's very little human activity along this road. It's basically an area where people are dying out for some reason... Good forest is here ...You could have brought a ??? map. From what I know, the good forest is down between Bondo and Pili, down there is some very good forest. But we did spend some time on the forest in here. There's no sign of ground nest down here. That why we built camp up here. We built a camp down there in the hope of finding something, but when we found no ground nests, we stopped spending time down there.

1 :00:20 Lunch is almost ready if you want to sit down ... rolling up map ... the rice is on the table, better grab it while it's still warm ...

1:01:30 Description of pick up and Stopdown ...

1 :02:07 We know where this river's at at least .. .1 should be at the edge, but I was reckoning ... 24-30 ... Here we are ... That is those corridors that are marked ... What does it say here, it's backwards ... That's in Bongo ... See, these rivers here, what about this one ... Kutio, Zha ...Mubilo ... Zha is probably Sae here, the names might have changed ... This is probably the river we are on here, it's Zha...What does this one say? .. It's D ... D what? .. Dikamp-Dekum-Dekumbo ... the Lumbi exist, that is the only one that exists ... They call this Zha or Zi, so we're on this river, probably ...

1:03:05 I would tend to go northwest ... Well, straight west we go. We go to like what would be four twenty three ... did you say Digbi .. Digby, yeah, that's right, we're getting there ... And this is Ungalonbi? .. So this is going west this way, right? So this is the way we go, straight west ... So if the camp is here, we're going along this ridge here? .. Right, so that's probably, that's digby, that's one of the farthest ones you go out to, right here ... Can you show me the ridge again, please? Yeah, we have a ridge roughly east¬west .. .it's like a divide right there ... So the watershed between these two rivers is going into the Bili I suppose ... The Gangu. And these ones going up towards the Bomu ... Well, they're probably going out to the Lumbi and the Bili eventually, that's what they think, anyway. Sometimes the drainages aren't right, they aren't really going to the Gongu, they are coming, where are we at? They are coming here and making their way to the Lumbi ... Yes, okay, because the Dikpie looks like it's got it marked going in both directions. No, no, they're all going back into the Gongu. There's another watershed here ... according to them, but of course, who knows ...

1 :04:35 You want to look at this quickly because for an overall view, this is easier. Except we don't know where we're at...We know where we are at. This is Bondo, this is Bili, this is the road from Bondo to Bili. This is Bombilo ...But we're out here some place, aren't we?...No...We're going up the road to Atama, and then we are cutting in from Atama somewhere I think up here. This is the road up to Atama that we traveled and then we took the road in here, so we're somewhere in here ... So that is a characteristic feature ... yeah, that's on here ... So how far North do we go ... are those savanna patches ... those are along the road, those are fields, the line is pretty much fields ... The light red is agriculture and fallow, the light blue is said to be bare soil...the rocks ... the blue is savanna and the dark red is forest ... so can we mark out camp on here? If you don't have coordinates, it's kind of. .. this is the road to Atama, as we guessed we are somewhere up in here. We went west and south ... So that's this clump of forest ... so where is it exactly on here. So here you have some coordinates, if you can transfer them on to here ... the agriculture and fallow, you can see it here. These coordinated I put on by seeing where the rivers are ... We're going to be close, then we're going to se if we can put stuff. .. so let's see if we can put the camp, as judged here, onto here ... Using GPS ...

1: 12:00 stopdown

1:12:32 GS: The population now is one-third of what it was a couple of decades ago. AC: Why's that? GS: War, people moving out, no way to make a living. It's fascinating, I mean, the soldiers coming through, taking everybody's vehicles, the soldiers coming through eating everybody's cows so there's no livestock. People are right back to basic subsistence.

1:13:10 AC: And you were here? GS: I wasn't in this place, but I was in Eastern Congo in '59, and traveled a lot, surveying for Gorillas. It's very, very different. The infrastructure's gone. Roads, telecommunication, everything is essential gone. The only outsiders who still help a little bit are a few missionaries who help here and there

1 :13:48 AC: What about the wildlife here? GS: From what I've been told, this is a major trade root for elephant hunting. Not for the ivory, but for meat, because the people have no income. They still need, want to buy clothes, whatever and they have no cash .. so the best way to get cash is to kill elephants and transport the meat to the Central African Republic which has more consumer goods, and they can trade the meat for consumer goods. And so the elephants are being very heavily hunted in this region. The other animals are being hunted, but they are still through in low numbers, still present, but the elephants will disappear very soon if it continues as it is. But wheb you go out, you'll see the elephant trails everywhere, and occasionally you'll see a fresh track. They move in and out with the rains. But from what people say, they used to be far, far more common.

1: 15: 1 0 AC: Have you heard the lions at night. I heard them one night. There are a few lions because there are buffalo, warthogs for them to live on. There are spotted hyena you should hear at the other camp ...

1: 16:30 Stopdown

1: 16:40 Begin hike to other Camp 2. Hiking fx ...

1 :20:00 -1 :22:20 More walking on savanna, sounds dry and quiet.

1:23:45 -1:26:30 AC Bucket shower sequence. Probably not useful.

END DAT 2

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