Thursday, July 9, 2009
Today we visited the Cedar Forest in Ifrane. We were told it was the home to the last of the indigenous monkeys of Morocco and the oldest tree in Africa, a cedar. It only took 20 senic minutes to get there. Much to our surprise, the "oldest tree in Africa" was dead. A bleached, leafless shell, covered in spray paint. We were instructed to buy some peanuts and headed for the monkeys. Many had said they only came out in the morning but we came across 10 or 12 right away. They seemed sweet and docile at first, but then they started chasing each other off and following us around for food. One even grabbed Beate by the pants to get more food. There environment, this Cedar Forest, was strewn with garbage and very poorly cared for. I have grave concerns about the future of the trees and the monkeys if steps are not taken to preserve this site. This brings me to a thought I have had many times on this trip...why don't the people of this beautiful place do more to try and save it for their children? As a historian and nature lover it causes me to raise another question...what can I do?