Category Archives: endangered species

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’ 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 animals

Last Saturday I was called to the wildlife centre late at night to receive a young male Mandrill. He was confiscated in Bibindi village near Kribi. The mandrill, who we call Bibindi, has being living as a pet for at least a year. The owner bought him from some hunters for 10.000 CFA.

Bibindi is very tame. He is in a pretty good condition, but still have to spend three months in the quarantine so we are sure that he doesn’t carry any diseases. During the quarantine period he will go through three health checks. He is used to eating bananas, papaya and sugar canes. We have given him a lot of branches in his cages and he loves to play with them.

Mandrills are not found in this area of Cameron but only south of the Sanaga River.  We have 13 of them in LWC. Mandrills are listed as vulnerable on IUCNs red list, because of the intensive hunting pressure and habitat loss on the species.

Bibindi face

Today a man from Douala brought us a young male baboon. The baboon has been living with him since it was a baby. The owner told us that a friend, by accident, hit the baboon’s mother with a car five years ago. The mother died but the baby, who was hanging on the mother’s stomach, survived. This happen in the North of Cameroon, but the baby baboon was brought to Douala. The baboon is called Nana Bey.

He is now five years old and was starting to be a big challenge for the owner. Baboons are not good pets! Nana Bey ran to the neighbors’ house and stole their food and also started to be quite aggressive. That’s why the owner decided to bring him to LWC. Nana Bey is quite small for his age and a bit skinny. He is eating very well though, and I am sure he will gain some weight quickly. After his quarantine period he will join our group of 12 baboons. Baboons are found in the Northern part of Cameroon and are not endangered.


Have a nice Sunday,


Update from LWC

For long you haven’t heard from us, but that is only because we have been very busy here. Lots of things have happened and I want to give you a small update on some of the animals here in LWC.

“Ako”, the young baboon that arrived in June has now finished her quarantine period. She has now been moved to a satellite cage next to the baboon enclosure. Here she will slowly be introduced to our baboon group. Yesterday she met “Mish Mish”, one of our female baboons. They made friends right away. Hopefully in a few weeks “Ako” will be fully integrated in the group.

Ako Sep 2010

The two small babies, “Mundemba” (a putty-nosed guenon) and “Manoka” (a mona monkey) are also doing fine. The first months we took them home every night to feed them during the night, but now they stay in the centre in a big cage. They love each other and it gives them a lot of comfort to have each other. When they are getting a little bit bigger we will introduce them to our group of young guenons.

Mundemba and Manoka

We didn’t receive any new primates since June, but a month ago a worker from the local waste company brought in two tiny squirrels that he had found in a waste bin. They were only weighing 60 gram each on arrival. Our vet. volunteer Ann fell in love with them right away, and she has been hand rearing them. Today they are weighing 200 grams and they are almost ready for release.


Unfortunately we also had a death within the last months. Our old mandrill “Man Alone” died on Saturday the 7th of August. He was on of our oldest animals here. He arrived in the beginning of the 1980’s when the place was still called Victoria Zoo. He was placed alone in a tiny cage, but when the zoo was transformed into Limbe Wildlife Centre he was moved to a much more spacious enclosure. With time more mandrills arrived and he became the dominant male of the group. Within in last years he started to be weaker and the leadership of the group was taken over by another male called “Prosper”.  “Man alone” was almost 30 years old when he died, and was probably one of the oldest mandrills in the world. He was very special for all of us who work here, and we had a big burial ceremony for him. He is buried next to our mandrill enclosure. We will never forget you “Man alone”.

Man alone

Best wishes


End of the Outreach Program for the year 2009-2010

The outreach program for this school year has come to an end. This year, our education team has been teaching on 11 different schools around Limbe, reaching more than 1000 students every week.

The educators have been teaching about animals, conservation and environmental issues.

On the last day, we invited all the students to come to the wildlife centre to see all the animals that they have been hearing about. The children were very excited and for many of them it was the first time to come here, and the first time to see chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates. It was very encouraging to take them around the centre and ask them about the animals. They have really learned a lot and also asked us a lot of questions.


After the tour around the centre the students watched a play performed by the “the reformation theatre group”. The play is about bush meat trade, and even though it is a very serious subject, the group also got the children to laugh lot.

Some of the students had also prepared small sketches or songs about wildlife and conservation.

After the plays we handed certificates out for the students and the ones who performed best in each class got a prize.  Then it was time to say goodbye.

Handing out certificates

Columbus Zoo sponsors our school outreach program and we are very grateful for that. Hopefully in the future it will make a difference  that a lot of children have been educated about wildlife and conservation.

The end of the school outreach program doesn’t mean that the education team got nothing to do. The next months will be filled with Nature Club, Holiday Workshops and our new community outreach program, so there is more than enough to do. We will keep you updated.

Best wishes,


Orphan drill monkey brought to LWC

Today we received a two-year-old orphan drill monkey. After his mother was killed for bush meat, this little boy was sold in the market of Bajo, near Mamfe. A military man on his way to Limbe took an interest in the monkey and bought it for 30,000 CFA (€ 45). He even went to the Chief of Post, the local officer for the ministery of forestry and wildlife (MINFOF), who prepared a certificate of origin. It stated that it was a colobus monkey and that the owner was free to travel with it. The chief of post also said that the owner should report to the MINFOF in Limbe, as soon as he arrived there.

The owner kept the drill for more than a month, but then reported to MINFOF. The senior divisional officer told him that it was forbidden to keep a monkey as a pet and that he should donate the animal to the Limbe Wildlife Centre. Together they came to the LWC and 10 minutes later we went to the owners home to pick up the drill.

bajo small

The drill is now called Bajo and he is very sweet. The owner was a bit sad to let him go, but he received a free entrance ticket to come and see his animal later on. It is always best when people willingly give up their animals, in stead of animals being confiscated. It gives us the opportunity to discuss with the people why it is much better for the animal to be in a large enclosure with other monkeys of its kind.

Bajo will spend 3 months in quarantine and will then join the group.

Best wishes, Simone

New home for guenons

The guenon monkeys have a new home! Where it used to be a marsh, we now have a very spacious enclosure for 5 different species of guenons. In the last week we moved all the monkeys and new groups were formed. The Preuss’ monkeys and the Red-eared monkeys form one group. These species are both rather calm and do well together. On the other side we have a group of Putty-nosed monkeys, Moustached monkeys and one Crowned guenon. These three species have much more temperament and also form a good team. All monkeys have much more space than before so they are enjoying themselves a lot. One side of the enclosure has a mango tree inside and the other a big stump of a tree that fell down last year in the big storm, so there are some natural climbing structures.

red eared in new enclosure

Many donations made it possible to build this enclosure. ProWildlife from Germany was our biggest sponsor, but the pipes and part of the mesh came in a container from San Diego Zoo. On top of that we used money that we raised with this blog. We would like to thank all our readers that have donated us through this blog. Our monkeys truely appreciate your support.

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,