April 11, 2005
Morning came EARLY. We packed up and off we went. All lined up with the horse and the frog bags in pillow cases (so we can keep them cool by wetting the pillow cases) tied around our necks like capes.....it looked like a scene out of a Lord of the Rings movie. The hike out felt great! We got our frogs.......and wow the hike is easier without a 60lbs. pack!
When we got back to Samwell's house a little girl showed us the coloring book that she had colored. Cute pic.
After the ceremonial toss of the walking sticks, and when Nick finally said his goodbyes to the chickens..... we headed back to El Cope to Cheeco and Chad's house and went up to the restraunt for real food (I do not think that I will ever be able to look at another powerbar without being sick). Beans and rice ...YUM.
When we returned we found that the really sick female frog had died. She must have just been too far along in the disease to be helped.
After stuffing our faces we went back to the house and I checked my email while the rest of the gringos went out with Chad to the El Cope National Park to work the snake transects. I didn't want to go back to Cope...it would be too depressing. I want to remember Cope when there were frogs and you could hear their chorus......Edgardo felt the same way. Eddie worked transects in Cope for three years before chytrid wiped out the area.....he couldn't bring himself to see it now. They did see some pretty cool animals though...including the biggest cockroach I think ever existed....at least I hope that it is the biggest one!
So I checked my email and found out that there were now problems with the import permits. The USFWS inspector wanted proof that the animals collected were Atelopus varius and not A. zeteki.....but morphologically this population of A. varius is identical to the CITES 1 A. zeteki. The only way to distinguish the two is by DNA analysis. So now I have the horrible thoughts about what to do if they won't concede in this request. All I can do now is wait. The PGF coordinators and the staff at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are working hard to convince the inspector to let us import......
So tonight I try to relax....an Atlas and a "suicide shower"........