Just a brief note for the newest primate arrivals at LWC this past month of July.
The 4th July 2011, a new Mona monkey (Cercophitecus mona) reached LWC totaling 2 this year. The first, Akak, from Mamfe area and this one from Wum Sud Division in the North West Region. She has been named Wum after her area of origin.
Both areas, are boundary to the Nigerian border, well known for their exceptional high biodiversity and low protection. The Wum subdivision is located between the Takamanda-Okango and Gashaka-Manibilla National parks, it also is an area of distribution of this species. It would make it difficult to identify which rainforest exactly she comes from but for sure from an area that is supposed to be protected.
Wum, is a subadult female who is missing her left eye, probably due to trauma. She is scared of human pressence. She was brought in by MINFOF officials with a rope around her neck.
She arrived with a poor body condition, high internal and external parasite load, extremely underweight and anemic. She has already undergone her first quarantine health check and as soon as she passes her quarantine period, she will be introduced to the resident Mona group.
The second arrival of this month is a female infant chimp named after the village of origin, Yabien. She was brought from the Nkondjok sub division in the Litoral region of Cameroon. This subdivision is close to the Ebo Forest Reserve which is being transformed into a National park. It is very likely Yabien is from the Ebo forest, in which case she would be an extremely endangered chimpanzee subspecies, the Pan troglodytes eliotti. Her presence in LWC shows the urgent need of protection of these areas that hold such extremely endagered animals.
Yabien is estimated to be 3 years old. She was brought by an official of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF). According to the official´s story, she was contacted on the 14th July in relation to a young chimpanzee trapped in a snare by her right forefinger. She could not reach the place inmediately so, she asked the animal to be released and brought to her office as soon as possible. It took the villagers 4 days to arrive her MINFOF office with the chimp. Five days later, she contacted LWC to inform that she was on her way with the animal. Upon her arrival, Yabien had a very deep infected injury in her waist due to a rope that was tied too tight. This wound was stinking and full of maggots.
The rope and the maggots were removed under anesthesia. It looked like the rope was put long time ago and Yabien had grown with it around her waist. She was bloated, dehydrated with swellings of some parts of her body, especially the face, which could be due to malnutrition. You could see her stare blankly into the air in utterly hopeless and desperation.
Now, the wounds are healing slowly and she is starting to show her sweet personality. She seems to be habituated to human presence, which makes us doubt about the whole story.
The good news is that she is at LWC and we will take good care of her.