Category Archives: Chimpanzee

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’ 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.

New water points

Hello everybody,

We have built a new water point in the chimp nursery just like the big chimps have. This water points imitate termite hills and, apart from the obvious drinking spot, they are a great enrichment for the animals as they have to work for the water by pressing a “hidden” button. Although Gah learned quite quickly how to use it, it took some time for our keeper Killi to teach the two small ones to drink from it. We hope this addition will help them when they go to the adult group.IMG_3250

We have also put pipes with water running all day in the guenons and mangabeys enclosures so they always have fresh water. They also use them as showers!

Until our next update.

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.



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.



Chimpanzee enclosure renovation

One year ago the chimpanzee fence was completely ruined by a big storm. We accepted this event as an opportunity to completely renovate the enclosure and the satellite cage. This renovation of the old chimpanzee enclosure is now nearing completion.

First of all a deviding wall was build between the gorilla enclosure and the chimpanzee enclosure. This is more suitable than a fence and it created more space for the gorillas. Then the fences were all rebuild, much higher and stronger than before. In the old enclosure we often had escapes, but we are confident that this new fence will keep the chimpanzees inside. Finally the satellite cage was renovated: repair of the roof, new floors, etc.

renovation satellite cage

We have been lucky that we have two chimpanzee enclosures, thanks to the new chimpanzee enclosure that was finished last year March. Nevertheless, it has been crowded in the new enclosure in the last year and we are very much looking forward to moving part of the group to the renovated enclosure. The chimpanzees will have a lot more space soon. Both the building of the new enclosure and the renovation of the old enclosure were funded by Born Free UK. We are very grateful for this support.

Recently I gave an interview for Born Free UK, which can be found on their website. When you are interested please go to the following link.

Interview Born Free

Best wishes,  Simone

Chimpanzee Bazou meets Bankim

After almost 16 years of being alone, Bazou met this morning with another male chimpanzee. With his eight years of age, Bankim is much younger than Bazou, but he is much more robust. His head is bigger, his arms are stronger and his fur looks healthier. Next to Bankim, Bazou looks like a concentration camp survivor and that is not far from the truth.

chimpanzee introduction

The introduction went very well. Almost immediately the two started playing. Bazou was a bit nervous, but he was laughing at the same time. Bankim initiated play wrestle and touched Bazou everywhere. That must be strange for Bazou, because his body has not been touched  for so many years. He just kept on laughing. When Bankim became a bit bored it was Bazou who initiated the play, pulling Benkim’s foot.


We are very happy with this first introduction. It gives us hope for the future of Bazou. We will keep you informed about the progress.

Best wishes, Simone

Bazou moves out of quarantine

I am sure that many of you will remember Bazou, the chimpanzee we received a few months ago? He was confiscated after having spent 16 years alone in a small cage.

Yesterday his quarantine period was over, and we moved him to our chimpanzee section. I think all of us were very excited to see how Bazou would react when he finally met other chimpanzees. We were also a bit worried, as he has some very abnormal behaviors and is very unpredictable.

Bazou magazin

Most of the chimpanzees were outside when we moved Bazou to his new home, but in the evening they all came inside. Bazou ran up to the fence between the cages and screamed at all of them. This was Bazou’s first lesson in chimpanzee behavior; when you scream at other chimpanzees, they scream back to you… And they all did. That made Bazou very scared, so he ran back to the other end of the cage and tried to hide in the corner. It will take some time before he is ready to join the group. He has probably not seen other chimpanzee since he was taken out of the forest as a baby and has no social skills.

This morning I went to see him, and he was very stressed and was doing a lot of strange movements. I am afraid it will take a long time before he is living happily in our big chimpanzee group…

Have a nice weekend,


Mbam’s funeral

Yesterday we buried Mbam and, as we always do when an animal dies, we did a tradional ceremony for him. Stephen,  a son of the soil, offered some whiskey to the fore-fathers and asked them to take good care of Mbam on his way to the other world.


It feels good to do a ceremony like this with the keepers. Just as it feels really good to know that you are all there and thinking about us. It is great to have friends like you. As we say in Cameroon: we are together!

Best wishes, Simone

Chimpanzee dies of pneumonia

What a terrible day! This morning Mbam, the young chimpanzee that has been with us since 2008, died of pneumonia. It is so sad, he was doing so well in the group. You might remember reading about his introduction to the big group last September. Mbam was the chimpanzee that did not want to let go of Killi, our quarantine keeper. Since that reintroduction he had settled in the group very well and made new friends. The last few days he had a cold and was treated for it. This morning he was lying on the floor, very ill. Although the vets took him to the vet room and gave him fluids and medication, at the end of the morning he died.


Mbam is not the only one suffering from the common cold. Several others are coughing and sneezing and have been on treatment for a few days. Bankim is the worst at the moment and he is treated in sick bay. It does not make sense that the chimpanzees have respiratory problems in the dry season. The only thing I can think of is that they are too crowded in their enclosure, which makes them more vulnerable for diseases. This is a very depressing thought, because this enclosure is brand new and quite spacious. But our group is very big and still growing.

I really feel discouraged today. We work so hard, but it seems like it is never enough. We build better and bigger enclosures, but the groups keep growing as well. Maybe there is nothing we could have done to avoid this, but it feels like we have failed Mbam. I will miss him.


Best wishes,


Update on Gah

This Gah, who is now almost 5 years old. When Gah came to the LWC almost 4 years ago he was completely paralyzed as a result from shot wounds and a fall from a high tree. Many of our readers remember him and we often get questions about how he is doing.


Gah is doing quite well, but he is often a big worry to us. In the first half year at the LWC Gah made a miraculous recovery, but he has never completely recovered from his induries. He drags a bit with his feet and he seems to have a mental handicap. When chimpanzees come up to him he does not respond in a normal way and therefor the others always bother him. Too many times he has ended up with big bumps on the head. A few months ago he had a big cut above the eye and even the eyeball it self was scratched. He had to be separated and treated for a quite a while.

After he was released from sick bay we have joined him with some other chimpanzees that have problems. Alex and Achidi also cannot cope very well in the big group. Alex spend several years chained to a car wreck, until she was rescued and brought to the LWC. She is a very scared animal. At least she has a friend in Achidi, who has been with her ever since she arrived. Now they form a small group with Gah and all three seem to be happy with this arrangement.

We are all running around to get everything ready for Christmas day, the busiest day of the year for the Limbe Wildlife Centre. We always have more than 1000 visitors coming to see the animals, so we make sure everything looks at its best. From all the staff members and animals, we wish you a very happy Christmas! We will be in contact again soon because we still have a very busy last week of the year ahead of us (the start of the parrot release!).

Best wishes,