Category Archives: Bush meat

Newest Arrivals at LWC

The past couple of months at LWC have been quite busy, with multiple projects underway and many new arrivals.

Bakumba, a very young putty-nosed guenon arrived in June. Left orphaned after her family was killed, she had been living with a farmer in Bakumba village. Upon arrival she was very sick and malnourished, but is now doing well. She is currently being cared for in quarantine, where she receives milk throughout the day along with nutritious foods and much-needed love. As soon as Bakumba’s test results come back and we know that she is healthy, she will join the baby guenon group.

Sagat, a patas monkey, was brought in by her owner. While at a market, the owner claims to have seen Sagat being beaten until she was unconscious. Thinking that she was dead, he took her home, only to discover that she was still alive. The man kept Sagat in a cage that was so small, she could not stand. Her legs are still very weak, which causes her to limp, particularly on her back legs. We placed many planks into Sagat’s quarantine enclosure, which allows her to work her leg muscles without causing too much extra strain. We have already seen vast improvements in both behavior and motor ability since Sagat’s arrival.

Nvuru, a 4-year old mandrill, and Chiguo, an adult moustached-guenon, arrived on the 29th of July. They were part of the first ever animal confiscation in Equatorial Guinea, along with a young gorilla and a young chimpanzee. The confiscation was completed by Conservation International and the Zoological Society of London with the help of the Hess petrol company, and all of the animals were brought to the Ape Action Africa sanctuary, in Mefou, Cameroon. As Ape Action Africa is currently short in quarantine space, we agreed to take both Nvuru and Chiguo for their quarantine period. Ape Action Africa will care for both the chimpanzee and gorilla, as they already have young groups of both species.

The man who had been keeping Nvuru and Chiguo had them both tied to trees by very short ropes. When Nvuru arrived, the rope was still tied around his waist. He was anesthetized by the LWC vet team, the rope was removed, and a health check was completed. Underweight, but otherwise in good condition, he was brought into quarantine. Nvuru is incredibly happy in his new enclosure, which gives him a large space to roam, and smiles when anyone approaches.

Upon arrival, Chiguo was very scared. We immediately placed her into a quarantine enclosure filled with branches, which gives her space to move around and places to hide. She remains afraid of humans, but is eating well, which is a good sign. Over time, with needed love and care, we hope that she will become more comfortable in her new home.

Building season starts!

Finally dry season has arrived. Rainy season has been a bit longer than usual and that has delayed our building plans at LWC, which have kept us pretty busy. We have built new climbing structures and platforms for the drills as the old ones were in bad shape. We also planted some new trees in their enclosure so they have some shade. They will have to wait for it, as it will take some years to the trees to grow enough.

The pool in the island chimp enclosure has been repaired as it had some leaks. The animals were very excited about it because they love to play and bathe in the water. We also built a new pool for the chimps in the nursery.banandosenursery pool

chimp pool

The climbing structures in the island enclosure were also repaired and upgraded.

Now some news about the animals:

Yabien and Lolo, our youngest chimp, have being introduced to the nursery group. Gah, has toatally adopted Yabien and Lolo she has become a great friend of Mayos’s.baby chimps

Ngambe left the nursery and now lives in the island group. She is adapting fine and yesterday she went to the outdoors enclosure for the first time. She gets along very well with Ntui, Tika and Koto. TKC, the dominant male, likes her but is not very patient with her when she behaves like a baby.

The Grey-checked mangabey Y’de was sent to another sanctuary in Cameroon where they have two groups of his species. We will miss him, but we know he will be much happier with his new family.

Since our last post we have received two putty-nose, two baboons and one mandrill.

We also received a very special animal: a male preuss’s monkey. The preuss are a endangered species that only live in this area of Cameroon. We already had four females, and now we can start a breeding group for a future reintroduction. We have called him Warbay, and he’s going to be really busy with four wifes, poor Warbay!warbay

New arrivals at LWC

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.

Two new orphans in Limbe Wildlife Centre

Within the last week, we received two new primates at Limbe Wildlife Centre!

Grey-cheeked mangabey

On the 20th of April Onana Messofelix, a police commissioner living in Buea brought a beautiful male grey-cheeked mangabey infant Lophocebus albigena.  These fascinating monkeys are not native to the Cross-Sanaga region where we are located and so is likely to have come from southern or eastern Cameroon.

The Commissioner’s wife had acquired the animal in Yaoundé, 3 weeks earlier. She wanted to keep the mangabey as a pet, but the husband refused and brought the mangabey to the LWC.  We applaud his efforts to convince his wife that wild animals do not make good pets, and even more so that he brought the young mangabey to the wildlife center.  Thank you, Sir!

We estimate he is more than one year old. We call him Y’de, as he came to us from Yaoundé. He is a bit thin, but is now in our quarantine where the keepers are experts at restoring malnourished animals, and he is getting lots of good food and care.

We hope in future that one of the Cameroon PASA sanctuaries will have a group of this species for our young male to join.

Y'de

Y'de

Female chimpanzee

On the 21st April, barely 24 hours after receiving the mangabey, a LAGA official brought a tiny female chimpanzee to LWC. She had been confiscated from a hunter based in Lolodorf, a small town some kilometers away from Kribi, on the southern coast of the country.  This area is not part of the Cross-Sanaga faunal region so, as in the case of the grey-cheeked mangabey, this little chimpanzee probably does not belong to the endemic subspecies of our region but rather to the Central African supspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes.

According to the story, the hunter who killed her mother, tried to sell her to a hotel in Kribi, which is a popular resort town.  The hotel owner contacted our government partner MINFOF (Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife) and they organized a joint operation with LAGA to recover the infant. The hunter and his companions were arrested and the chimpanzee was brought to LWC.

We have named her Lolodorf (or Lola), to remind us of her area of origin. On arrival she was dehydrated, tired and very hungry. Lola also had an infected wound on her right arm around the elbow, which was swollen and appeared painful to move.  It was probably inflicted by a shotgun pellet.  These pellets often self-expel, or can be removed surgically once a patient has been stabilized.  We are hoping to perform an x-ray soon to determine if the bone has been cracked. Lola had a high fever.

Lola was rehydrated and placed on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines. Now she is much better, no fever or signs of infection, and she has a good appetite.

She spends her nights in our house, the normal procedure with very young infants, and so we can feed her during the night. During the day, Lola comes to the centre and is cared for by a keeper.  She enjoys hearing the other chimpanzees. Lola is an adorable small chimpanzee: she has only 4 teeth and we estimated her age to be around 6 months.

Lola

Lola

Three new orphaned primates

Within 5 days we have received 3 new orphaned primates. All of them are victims of the illegal bush meat trade. Primates are considered a delicacy, so they are hunted for their meat. But young animals are worth more alive, so when a mother is killed the baby is taken to be sold as a pet.

arrival Ako

Last Thursday a young female baboon was brought to the Limbe Wildlife Centre by officials of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. At a border control post in Ako they had confiscated the baboon from some people who wanted to smuggle her to Nigeria. They took care of the monkey for a few days until they had the opportunity to travel to Limbe and hand her over to us. When she arrived she was still tied in box where they had found her. Apart from a superficial wound on her leg she was okay. She is now in the quarantine and doing very well.

Mundemba rescue

Just one day later Sofie went to pick up a baby putty-nosed monkey that was confiscated in Mundemba by an ecoguard of Korup National Park. A German woman had taken care of the baby for a few days after the confiscation. The monkey has a broken and infected tail and she is very skinny. When we just received her she was very scared, but in the few days she is here she has completely changed. She is eating and drinking well and more and more playful.

two babies

And then finally someone showed up in our office yesterday with a really tiny little mona monkey. He had found the monkey in a village where children were playing with it. He took it from them and brought it to us. The monkey weighs only 270 grams and was badly dehydrated. He is not very fond of milk, but we drip it bit by bit into his mouth. This morning he was already much better. And he is very brave and playful. The two baby monkeys are now together in one play pen and are doing very well. At night they go home with us. All new arrivals have been named after the village they are from: Ako, Mundemba and Manoka.

Best wishes, Simone

Nile crocodiles released

In the three years that I am working in the Limbe Wildlife Centre we have released many dwarf crocodiles, who are critically endangered. They live in small rivers and it is not difficult to find suitable release sites around Limbe. For Nile crocodiles it is not so easy, because they only survive in big rivers that are not found close to the LWC. Last week we released two Nile crocodiles that were rescued from the bush meat trade. It was quite an adventure to reach the perfect release site.

grabbing-croc.jpg

The day started at 6 am with the catching of the crocodiles. Jonathan and Killi are great keepers and they are very fast. That is very useful when you have to grab a crocodile. On the other hand, I am much more useful making the pictures. The mouths and the legs were tied with rubber and the crocodiles were placed in the back of our pick-up. Then the long trip to Barombi Mbo Forest Reserve began.

bad-roads.jpg

The roads in this part of the world are not always good, so it took some effort to arrive at the reserve. But that was only the beginning. In order to reach the perfect release site the team had to track for three hours, crossing several small streams, carrying the crocodiles wrapped in a tarp. On the picture you can see Egbe and Kenneth carry one crocodiles together. The local authorities had asigned some foresters with guns to come along, because they thought the crocodiles might eat the people of the release team.

carrying-croc.jpg

The day came almost to an end when the team arrived at the river. The crocodiles were unwrapped and untied and then released in the water.

release.jpg

It is good to see that these two crocodiles are back where they belong.

in-water.jpg

Best wishes, Simone

Update on Bazou

I just want to show you this picture of Bazou, who was rescued a few days ago.

bazou-small.jpg

He is now in our quarantine, and as you can see on the picture we are feeding him well. He eats everything that we offer him. Apparently he was normally fed on food scraps and whatever the people in the village had. They also used to give him beers and cigarettes.

He is slowly beginning to feel a bit comfortable here. He spends most of his day eating or observing the other animals in the quarantine. Bazou also likes human company, and we spend some time every day sitting next to him to give him a bit of comfort. Bazou is a very sweet chimpanzee. When I sit next to his cage, he comes to me and grooms my arms and hold my hand. He still has some strange reactions sometimes, and make very special noises. It seems like his hair plucking is already a bit less. We will continue to give him a lot of care.

Best wishes, Sofie

Chimpanzee rescued from dreadful circumstances

A sixteen-year old male chimpanzee, that has spent most of his years in a small cage, has been rescued. After a long day of confiscation and travel, the rescue team and the chimpanzee arrived in the middle of the night at the Limbe Wildlife Centre.

bazou-crate.jpg

We have named the chimpanzee Bazou, after the village where he was kept since a very young age. Bazou is much smaller then a normal adult, as a result of malnourishment. His arms are very thin and his ribs are visible.  He is showing abnormal behaviour, like plucking his hair and making strange movements. But he also seems to be craving for contact. When I pet his hand he relaxes and just watches me. Bazou must have been taken from the forest at a young age, having seen his mother being killed for bush meat. At first he was kept on a rope around his neck, but when he grew up he was put in a small cage. The old rope was still around his neck when he was rescued. It is very sad to see a chimpanzee in such a state, but we will do our best to rehabilitate him.

Bazou was kept by the widow of an important man. According to the stories in the village, the man had a special relationship with chimpanzees. When he was still a baby, chimpanzees had taken him away to the forest and later returned him to his home. Therefore it was only logic that the man kept a chimpanzee at his house. One of the people on the rescue team was our vet Dr. John. He told us this morning that the villagers did not agree at all with the confiscation. They thought that the chimpanzee was happy to be where he was. After a long discussion a few villagers chose the side of the rescue team and helped to convince the other people. In the end the villagers decided to be cooperative and the chimpanzee was sedated and moved into a travel box.

Bazou will spend three months in our quarantine, before we will start the introduction to the other resident chimpanzees.

Gorilla food

Gorillas are vegetarians and in the wild they eat many different species of plants. They especially like leaves, young shoots and the juicy inner part of the stems. A diet of fruits and vegetables can never be a good replacement for this forest diet, so that is why we harvest food plants in the forest.

bolo-april-2009-resized.jpg

The Limbe Wildlife Centre takes care of 16 gorillas. Like all the animals in the LWC, they were rescued from people who were illegally keeping or trading them. When new animals arrive at the LWC, they are often physically and psychologically damaged. With a lot of care, we see our animals change from scared, malnourished creatures into confident, healthy primates.

The most important factor in their rehabilitation is without doubt social contact with animals of their own species. Our gorillas are housed in two different groups, that resemble the family groups that are found in the wild. The second important factor is space. Although we cannot offer our animals a real forest, our gorillas have spacious enclosures with high trees to climb, climbing structures, hills, pools, etc. Finally, it is important to feed the animals a diet that resembles the diet they would eat in the wild as much as possibible. For gorillas that means a lot of fibrous plant material.

gorilla-eats-browse.jpg

It is a lot of work to collect enough browse for 16 gorillas. The bundles need to be cut and transported, which is done by a group of ex-hunters. Three times a week they leave their village very early in the morning to collect the browse and carry it on their heads to the road side. There we buy it from them. It is great that we can offer these people an alternative livelihood that is sustainable for the forest. The browse men appreciate the regular income and have become our biggest ambassadors in their own village, which is known for its lively bush meat market.

If you want to help us take care of our gorillas, please make a donation through the paypal option on this page.

Best wishes,

Simone

Please help the Limbe Wildlife Centre

In less than two years time this blog has become a major fundraising activity for the Limbe Wildlife Centre. While the credit crisis is having an impact on the possibilities to fund projects, this blog is proving that lots of small donation make a big difference. First of all I would like to thank everybody who has donated money through the paypall option on this page. You have made it possible that we are taking care of more than 200 primates and other wildlife species! For all our other readers, I would like to say: please make a donation now. I will explain why this is so important for the LWC.

Every month we are faced with the payments of salaries. Pandrillus, the NGO that manages the Limbe Wildlife Centre, employes a veterinary surgeon, a vet nurse, keepers, education officers, etc. Our staff is truly amazing. They are the most dedicated people I have ever worked with and the LWC would not have been what it is today without their passion and perseverance. Nevertheless, raising funds for salaries is very difficult. Therefor this blog has been invaluable for us in this matter and I hope it will be in the future as well.

Another big chunk of our expenses has to do with veterinary care. All animals that arrive at the LWC go through quarantine and need several health checks before we start introduction into a resident family group. Anaestatics, TB-tests, etc. have to be brought from Europe or America and are very expensive. And in a time like this, with so many animals on treatment for respitorial diseases, a lot of money goes into medications. Again, the money sent through this blog has been incredibly helpful and we need your ongoing support.

So please, if you all give a small donation now, the Limbe Wildlife Centre will be able to continue its work. Our animals deserve the best possible care and together we can give it to them.

Finally, this blog is not only about money. I really appreciate all the comments to our stories. It is good to know there is so many people out there who care and support what we are doing. It gives us the strength to go on and do what we need to do.

Thank you so much!

Simone