Posted: Today at 05:05
MF, this is what Lonely Planet says about where I'm staying. "This important national park is home to diverse animal and plant life, making it one of Vietnam's most protected areas. Some 307 bird species, 133 kinds of mammal, 122 reptiles and more than 2000 different plants have been recorded here".
It's called Cuc Phuong National Park. There are several organisations here all doing their own thing, but all working together too. The organisation I'm working for looks after 'confiscated' pangolins (one of the most illegally traded animals in the world, and they're scaly anteaters. They're very cool!) and civets (think 'badly drawn cat'
). And right next door there is a large organisation looking after 'confiscated' monkeys, and next door to that turtles. The majority are native species and all have been confiscated in Vietnam, and the idea of all of the organisations is to reintroduce the animals to the wild, but ensure their safety in terms of poaching etc. The enthusiasm of the people working here is infectious as they're very passionate about what they're doing, although funding/equipment is an issue.
'Confiscated' means finding animals that are being illegally traded, or illegally kept as pets (in very poor conditions) and essentially rescuing them and bringing them back to full health. Poaching and trading is a big problem here.
Around the park there is lots of wildlife, in particular a lot of butterflies are easily seen. At night 100s of fireflies are around, and the noise from the forest is deafening - frogs, birds, insects all making their calls.
Yesterday we went to another reserve, reached by a small rickety rowing boat, driven by a lovely Vietnamese lady. She spoke no English and we speak no Vietnamese but we got on fine! The scenery was simply stunning, with lots of flowers on the water, mountains all around and wid monkeys way above the river. We were out for about 2hrs and it was very quiet and peaceful, except for the calls of the monkeys which were similar to dogs barking.
I have taken pics but can't upload from my phone, and I haven't brought a laptop with me. I'll try and post a few when I get back.
I did go for 4.5 mile run yesterday AM at 5:30. It was hot at the point so probably should have gone out a bit earlier really. Still, I had a good run around a small part of this huge national park.
KK, well done on your parkrun time! I have work to do until I get back in that shape, I think!