31 August 2011

Kenya: Tourists Find Dog at Peak of Mt Kilimanjaro

Moshi — A dog has been spotted living at the peak of the Kilimanjaro Mountain, African highest mountain, over 5,800 metres above sea level.

The sighting of the dog on top of Africa's rooftop has baffled animal scientists who wonder how the canine scaled its way up and had managed to survive.

A group of four tourists who climbed the mountain courtesy of Moshi-based Ahsante Tours reported seeing the dog at Uhuru peak.

The snow-capped tip of the mountain is freezing cold with temperatures of between minus 4 and 15 degrees centigrade. Its desert-like stony plains stand between 5,730 and 5,895 metres above sea level.

One of the tourists, Antoine le Galloudec, accompanied by Kristina Meese, Irina Manoliv and Monique Indino took the picture of the dog using his phone.

In an email to The Citizen on Tuesday, Galloudec said he spotted the dog when he went for a call of nature.

"As I was relieving myself I saw the dog lying one metre away from where I stood on a rock," he said.

Puzzled, he took his phone and photographed the dog.

The marketing officer for Ahsante Tours, 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. How did it survive in such freezing cold and what was it eating?" posed Mr Edward.

Vet doctor Wilfred Marealle said it was common for a dog to live in cold weather but it was uncommon for the animal to climb to such heights.

"A dog climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not something common. The dog might be rabid," said Dr Marealle, cautioning people to stay away from it.

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