By Terry Spamer;Gordon Thorburn
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Extra resources for Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines
Her gratitude was embarrassing. A plastic bottle, thrown away by the million in the West, thrown away many times by me, was a valuable household article in the impoverished heartlands of this desperate country. Mother had been keeping me under surveillance so she could get to me before anybody else, the second the water was gone. We’d taken no sandwiches with us on our journey and so ate whatever the roadside vendors supplied. Chickpeas in curry sauce with flat bread was our dish of the day, and jolly nice it was too.
There were no signs of wealth in this hard land, no signs of ease. The cheerful 30 A CARGO OF IVORY AND A CASE OF POISON folk, with their good natures bearing them up, had to scratch and scrape for every little thing. In my own country, people throw away half of what they buy. Here, there was hardly an item, no matter how trifling, which did not have a value. As we reached what we thought was our destination and got off the bus, these thoughts ran through my mind. For the moment our purpose was pursuit of ivory dealers and, ultimately, elephant poachers, organised criminals who knew exactly what they were doing.
She brought a bowl and 33 ANIMAL SPY I drank the contents spoonful by spoonful; then she brought another bowl with soup in it. ’ she said. Next morning we discovered that the nearest telephone was 6 miles away; a taxi would be necessary if I was to call in to the SOU office. Bryn was slightly mystified by my sudden burst of professionalism. ’ he wanted to know. ‘Are they going to send out a search party otherwise? ’ Then the penny dropped. ’ I fiercely denied this and said that while I had gone missing before, we’d never had two of us poisoned and missing in deepest Ghana in pursuit of armed and ruthless elephant rustlers.