Haller Park, ‘Terraforming’ A Quarry Wasteland (Part 2)

In case you may have missed it, please check out my previous blog about Haller Park titled: Haller Park, ‘Terraforming’ A Quarry Wasteland (Part 1)

When it was opened to the public in 1984, Haller Park was known as Bamburi Nature Trail.  In 1999 it was named for the brains behind the area’s transformation, Dr. Rene Haller.  In addition to the restored area, Haller Park is also home to a tilapia fish farm, which produces 45 tons of fish annually. [src]. The tilapia produced is also used to feed the resident crocodiles.  The park goes through great lengths to be as self sustaining as possible.

In part 2, we’ll take a look at some more animals I discovered in the park.

1: Haller Park has for resident hippos in two different enclosures. The oldest residents are Sally (orphaned in a storm) and Potty (rescued from a circus). The two newer hippos are named Owen, and Cleo. Owen was rescued as a baby, and formed a unique friendship with one of the large tortoises at Haller named Mzee.

I was amazed at the length of the pictured hippo’s tooth. Apparently a hippo tooth can reach up to three feet long!

Here’s a short video about the story of Owen and Mzee:

2-3: Village weaver birds are amazing little creatures, and at the same time, they are obnoxiously loud. They create complex hanging nests woven from grasses. There was a small area in the crocodile enclosure with hundreds of them.

4: While at the park I saw several species of kingfisher. This malachite kingfisher is one of the most colorful I have ever seen. Their streamlined beaks appear to be designed for darting into the water to catch prey.

5: The pied kingfisher is prevalent throughout Africa and Asia.

6: The aptly named giant kingfisher. This particular one is a female due to its lack of an orange breast. These birds can dive completely underwater to catch fish, crabs, and other small aquatic animals. [src]

7: The woolly-necked stork is an east African coastal species [src]. This was the first time I had seen one, so I had to do a little research to figure out who he was.

8: This vervet monkey had no fear of me, and was intent on staring me down. While they are cute, they can become pests if they become accustomed to being fed by humans.

9: This resident cape buffalo doesn’t look particularly healthy, as you can clearly see his ribs. This is despite there being plenty of grass around.

10: The East African oryx is endangered per the IUCN, with just between eleven to thirteen thousand left in the wild. [src] I love both the facial markings, and the incredibly straight horns. I have yet to actually see one in the wild.

If you make it to Mombasa, I highly recommend paying Haller Park a visit.  If you’re interested in supporting the valuable environmental efforts of the Haller Foundation, please go to http://haller.org.uk/get-involved/donate/.

Thanks for dropping by! I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *