Tucked away east of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, a sanctuary of lush inexperienced vegetation has been a haven for dozens of unique birds from far and extensive. “I’ve a ardour for birds,” mentioned Akram Yehia, proprietor of the Marshall Nature Reserve which covers 400 sq. meters (4,300 sq. toes). “I wished to create a perfect atmosphere that simulates their pure habitat.” Yehia, 45, arrange the large caged aviary in his home’s entrance yard 4 years in the past, and has handcrafted dozens of birdhouses. He created a habitat of timber, including a backyard pond and mist nozzles for cooling off towards Sudan’s scorching warmth.
Over 100 birds of 13 completely different species presently inhabit the reserve. Ring-necked parakeet, rosella birds, in addition to Meyers and red-rumped parrots flit throughout branches and compete over birdhouses within the reserve. “I’ve skilled and tamed them through the years in order that they received’t assault every one other,” he mentioned. Yehia says his favourite is an African gray parrot who solutions to the identify “Kuku” and has a knack for mimicking human sounds and actions as properly.
Sudanese and overseas guests are allowed to drop in for 2 to 3 hours a day solely. “It’s solely restricted time so we don’t disturb their habitat,” mentioned Yehia. Enterprise, nevertheless, has been impacted since an October army coup that has triggered common mass protests met by a violent crackdown. Visits typically get known as off on protest days as streets are blocked, making it exhausting to maneuver across the capital. “The tear gasoline fired in the course of the protests could be very harmful for the birds,” Yehia mentioned. “I do know individuals dwelling nearer to massive protest websites and who’ve misplaced all of the birds they personal.”
Yehia has additionally been grappling with rising bills in Sudan, the place the native foreign money has plummeted towards the greenback, and meals and gasoline costs have soared. “I wish to develop the reserve however it’s very costly now,” he mentioned. To guests, the reserve is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Khartoum. “I by no means knew that such a spot exists in Khartoum,” mentioned Anna Shcherbakova, a customer from Ukraine. An area customer, Hossameddine Sidahmed, mentioned he hopes the reserve expands and grows “much more stunning”. — AFP