Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dog at peak of K’manjaro baffles many

A dog has been found alive at the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain that towers over 5,800 metres above sea level. The spotting of the dog on top of Africa’s rooftop last week has baffled animal scientists, who have raised more questions than answers, including how the animal reached there and how it has been surviving.
 The weather at the top of the mountain is very hostile with freezing temperatures and desert-like stony plains. Four tourists who climbed the mountain courtesy of Moshi-based Ahsante Tours spotted the dog at Uhuru peak.

The area situated between 5,730 and 5,895 metres above sea level measures between minus 4 and 15 degrees centigrade. One of the tourists, Antoine le Galloudec, who was accompanied by his three colleagues Kristina Meese, Irina Manoliv and Monique Indino, took a picture of the dog using his mobile phone.

In an email to this newspaper yesterday, Galloudec said he spotted the dog when he went for a call of nature. “As I was responding to the call of nature, I saw the dog lying one metre away from where I stood on a rock,” he said. He added that he was puzzled and later took his phone and photographed the dog.

The marketing officer for Ahsante Tours, Mr Abel Edward, told The Citizen that a dog was spotted at Baranco Camp (3,960 metres above sea level) on the mountain 10 years ago.“When the tourists showed us the picture of the dog we could not believe our eyes. How it survived in such freezing conditions and what it ate during that time remained a mystery to us,” said Mr Edward.

A veterinarian, Dr Wilfred Marealle, said it was common for a dog to live in cold weather but it was uncommon for the animal to climb to the top of such a mountain.

“A dog climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not something common,” said Dr Marealle, cautioning people to stay away from it in case the animal turned out to be a rabid dog. The Tanzania National Parks public relations manager, Mr Paschal Shelutete, said he would not believe the incident unless he saw pictures of the dog. Reported by Daniel Mjema/ Source:The Citizen Wednesday, 31 August 2011