Category Archives: animal rescue

EMERGENCY APPEAL – CERCOPAN’s gates are closing

Robotta

144 Monkeys at risk

CERCOPAN is issuing a one-time emergency appeal to save the lives of 144 monkeys under its care in Calabar, Nigeria. For 20 years, CERCOPAN has provided safe haven and rehabilitation for monkeys rescued from the bushmeat, illegal wildlife, and pet trade – monkeys like Robotta and Action (left).

Unfortunately, a primary donor for the past several years has been unable to support us for more than

12 months now, and therefore, grants that required matching funds have been withdrawn. Without this income, CERCOPAN has no option but to close its rescue centre – placing all of our monkeys at risk.

Experts from an international task force have been on the ground and assessed the situation. The task force has recommended releasing some monkeys to the wild and re-homing others, dependent on such factors as conservation need and a monkey’s health and age. However, this will take time and proper planning. We stand a chance to save all our monkeys if we can just feed and care for them over the coming months while resources are obtained for release and re-homing efforts.

Donations are  crucial to save primate lives

Donations are crucial to save primate lives

We found Robotta after she had been forced to live at a petrol station for the first year of her life, completely unaware that other monkeys existed and unable to learn basic skills like how to feed herself. Now, she is rehabilitated and living with her own kind in a social group. Robotta and more than 300 other monkeys have been saved and nurtured by CERCOPAN’s dedicated team since the organization’s inception.

Please, can you help us ensure that Robotta and friends live out the lives they deserve?

Donations are crucial to save the lives of these 144 beautiful and threatened monkeys.

All funds raised will be used solely for critical primate care during this interim period.

PLEASE SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO THE EMERGENCY FUND:

http://www.everyclick.com/cercopan/info (also has GiftAid for U.K. donations)

http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html (provides receipt for U.S. tax records)

 Contact in Europe time zone: Zena Tooze

([email protected]; [email protected]; +44-777-610-1492)

Contact in Australia time zone: Claire Coulson
([email protected]; [email protected]; +61-469-374338)

Emergency Appeal to Save African Monkeys – Nearly 150 Lives at Risk

Mangabeys CERCOPAN appeal

Red- Capped Mangabeys at CERCOPAN

A rescue center in Nigeria that provides rehabilitation and safe haven for monkeys rescued from the bushmeat, illegal wildlife, and pet trades is urgently calling for help and has established an Emergency Fund to support the care and feeding of its 144 resident monkeys.

After many years of successfully rescuing and caring for primates in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, CERCOPAN has been severely affected by the world recession and is compelled to close down its rescue center. Financial support is urgently needed to feed and care for the monkeys, while funding is sought to implement a plan (developed with the help of an expert international task force) that aims to: 1) phase out CERCOPAN’s main rescue facility, and 2) implement a conservation programme to release some monkey species into a protected forest in Cross River State.

CERCOPAN has taken key steps to reduce expenditures to ensure that all money is directed to the critical needs of primate care. The organization is also seeking to manage the forest site and primate reintroduction program.

Donations  to  the  Emergency  Fund can  now  be  made  online  by  visiting any of these Internet sites:

http://www.everyclick.com/cercopan/info (also has GiftAid for UK donations)

http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html (provides receipt for U.S. tax records)

http://cercopan.wildlifedirect.org

https://www.justgiving.com/cercopan/donate

Donations can also be made via cash or check, through the contacts listed below.

Donations are crucial to save the lives of these 144 beautiful and threatened monkeys.

Contact in Europe time zone:

Zena Tooze

[email protected]

[email protected]

+44-777-610-1492

Contact in Australia time zone:

Claire Coulson

[email protected]

[email protected]

+61-469-374-338

About CERCOPAN:

For 20 years, CERCOPAN has operated an environmental conservation programme focused on the forests and primates of Cross River State, Nigeria. Throughout this time, CERCOPAN has partnered with other environmental charities, village communities, and the Cross River State Government.

For much of the past 20 years, the organization provided the only formal environmental education programme within Cross River State and reached more than 20,000 individuals a year, with a particular emphasis on school children and university students. The conservation messages in this programme emphasized preservation of the forests of southeast Nigeria for its people and its primate fauna.

For 14 years, CERCOPAN has partnered with the community of Iko Esai to protect 20,000 ha of forest from logging and primate hunting. Sustainable forest management practices, community development projects, a purpose-built community centre, eco-tourism, and employment of local village residents comprise some of the benefits to Iko Esai. In 2010, two neighbouring communities signed conservation by-laws, expanding the protected forest area to 30,000 contiguous hectares.

In 2008, together with partner NGOs, CERCOPAN advised and encouraged the State Government to prioritise environmental conservation within Cross River, and it responded with a state-wide logging ban, actively enforced since its inception.

Since 2009, CERCOPAN has partnered with the Cross River State Forestry Commission to help bring Nigeria through the Observer and Partnering stages of the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme. Planning (with UN funding) is now underway for a pilot implementation within the communities centred on Iko Esai.

Finally, CERCOPAN has several threatened species in its care, including red-eared monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrotis), the only group of captive Sclater’s monkeys (Cercopithecus sclateri) in the world, and the largest group of red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus) globally.

About primates:

Primates (monkeys, apes, and prosimians) are intelligent and socially complex animals, but tragically 50% are threatened with extinction due to human activities. Non-human primates are an integral part of the ecosystems in which they live and are sometimes called the “gardeners of the forest,” as the health of their habitats depend on the presence of healthy primate populations. In turn, these same forests help regulate our global climate, and hence humans are also dependent on these threatened animals.

Thank you from CERCOPAN (and Obugu Fine!)

Obugu Fine Sclater's Guenon CERCOPAN

Today was a special day, because thanks to a very kind donation, we were finally able to go ahead with renovations on an enclosure for one of our Sclater’s guenons, Obugu Fine. Obugu Fine lived with his best friend Ben for over 12 years, until we lost Ben to illness at the end of last year. Initially we left Obugu alone in the enclosure they had shared, as its design did not allow for slowly adding a new friend and we had no other free enclosures where we could rehouse him.

A couple of months ago, Obugu was becoming very lonely and we finally managed to free up some space and move him to an older enclosure closer to other animals and with more potential for an introduction. Unfortunately, whilst this enclosure had two parts making it ideal for our purposes, one part needed extensive repairs. We were therefore forced to place our plans on hold pending funding and restrict his movements to the good side of the enclosure.Wood for repairs of Obugu Fine enclosure CERCOPAN

Whilst primate rehabilitation is the cornerstone of our project and has impacts that extend well beyond the welfare of the individual animals we save, it is by far the most difficult aspect of our work to fund. The global financial crisis has made it harder than ever before to undertake the constant construction and repairs needed at our sanctuary and so a donation like the one made for Obugu means the world to us. Thanks to this generous personal donation, we have been able to buy all the wood, platforms, mesh, nails and other materials we needed to go ahead with our plan. After we repair the enclosure, Obugu Fine can not only enjoy all the extra space, but also the company of female Sclater’s guenon, Braylee! We will keep you updated on the progress of the introduction over the coming months.

If you would like to help our primate rehabilitation programme and the 170 animals in our care, please consider donating today.

And they call it…Putty Love

Felicia and Wizkid hugging

As you may remember, two small putty-nosed monkeys called Felicia and Wizkid were brought to CERCOPAN last December. One of them, Felicia, had been formerly abused by factory workers and was not using one of her back legs properly. Everyone at CERCOPAN was very concerned about the small monkey, as we were afraid that the leg might be paralysed. We took Felicia for an X-Ray to find out what was wrong, but to our surprise, nothing unusual was evident.

Wizkid

Initially, Wizkid would carry his new friend around in their enclosure, since she was not using her leg properly. Austin, our vet nurse, also took great care of Felicia, giving her leg massages and antibiotics. Over the weeks, her leg gradually improved and she began to move independently. Felicia now walks so well, it’s hard to imagine the condition her leg was in when she was brought to us! Whilst we are still not sure what rendered her leg unusable,  we are all very relieved that everything worked out well and are sure that her recovery was due in no small part to Austin’s efforts and the support of her best friend.

Wizkid no longer needs to carry Felicia around, but the pair still spend most of their time clasped together, hugging. Once they are old enough to be moved to a family group, we will ensure that they remain together. Felicia is still a little more reserved than Wizkid, who as you can see likes to put his face as close to the camera as possible, but with time we are sure he will bring her out of her shell.

 

 

Felicia and Wizkid

Ten days ago, an expatriates driver showed up at CERCOPAN’s gate with a small putty-nosed monkey. He explained that the expat traveled back to his country, and in his absence, the workers at the factory where she was kept had been abusing her. The monkey was scared and unable to use one of her back legs. The driver informed us that the monkeys name was Felix, but given that the little orphan was female, we thought Felicia a tad more appropriate!

Felicia soon got used to us, throwing major tantrums whenever we put her back into her travel box so that we could get some work done! The first few nights, she was bottle-fed milk formula because she didn’t understand how to drink from the bottle herself. She was less scared, but we felt sorry for her because she seemed quite lonely.

Felecia the Putty Nosed Guenon

Two days later, another man arrived at CERCOPAN with a putty-nosed guenon, called Wizkid. This monkey was in much worse condition than Felicia and was extremely thin and small for his

age – we were all amazed when the man mentioned that Wizkid had been his pet for 5 months!  Wizkid’s sister had died the week before, probably from malnutrition, which had likely prompted the man to surrender his second monkey. Although very skinny, Wizkid is an energetic little animal. Felicia didn’t know what was happening when we first let him into her travel box! As is generally the cases with young orphans brought together at CERCOPAN however, it didn’t take them long to become the best of friends and Wizkid quickly taught Felicia to drink milk from the baby bottle.

Felicia having an xray

Shortly after they were introduced we moved them to a larger outdoor enclosure, in the area we call the ‘baby nursery’.  Felicia rides on Wizkid’s back whenever she is tired of moving around using her arms. They spend a lot of time hugging, and don’t like it one bit if we separate them for medical tests! When we take Felicia out to work on her leg, it is actually easier to take both of them – it is impossible to handle her when Wizkid is screaming in the enclosure.

The only worry now is Felicia’s leg. We took her for an X-Ray and are waiting for the results. We hope that with physical therapy we can return some strength to the leg, but the chances are looking slimmer every day. For now, we are just pleased that she is so happy with Wizkid and hope that they will grow up happy and healthy together.

 

Angelica

Angelica is one of our newest orphans, she arrived late August (see August 24th article). She is a female Red Eared Guenon, only found in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria.

She was found by rangers from Iko Esai’s surveillance team when they were patrolling the community forest. Angelica was tied to a hunting shed, but no hunter was around and her mother was nowhere to be seen – likely she has been killed for meat. The rangers brought Angelica back to our forest camp, Rhoko. There she was looked after by volunteers for a couple of days, and was sent to Calabar with the truck to receive proper medical attention and care. At first, she was hardly using her rear legs and we were afraid she might have a permanent injury, but this turned out not to be the case. She now uses her legs correctly.

Angelica, a few days after she was rescued

During the first days in Calabar, Angelica was very shy and needed a lot of attention. She had to be carried by someone (a substitute mother) at all times, and would start screaming and crying as soon as you would (try to) leave her alone! The only moments of rest for her caretaker was when she was asleep! After 5 days she became more confident and started to wander a few meters away on her own. After a week, a Mona guenon orphan was brought to us, Evie, and they were put together. Evie, being a bit bigger and extremely playful, was a bit “too much” for Angelica at first, as she did not like Evie’s jumping displays. Eventually, Evie understood that Angelica was not up for games, but only for cuddles! And they became very close friends. Actually, Angelica seems to have taken Evie as her new mother, clinging onto her belly the way baby monkeys do with their mothers. Her removal from her real mother has definitely traumatised her, and she is now panicking at the idea of losing her “second mother”, Evie. If we separate them even shortly, she will scream and will not stop calling and looking for Evie until they are reunited! She is a strong minded little monkey, she knows what she wants (whether it be Evie, or a hug from her!) and lets everybody around her know it too 🙂

Angelica (left) and Evie (right) cuddling

Another arrival

Yesterday I was called early in the morning by our friends from Pandrillus. They had received news of a small, long-tailed monkey that was handed over to one of their staff members.

It appeared to be a mona monkey, a few months old. She has some wounds and was kept on a chain. She is very scared of people, and is quite skinny. We will feed her up and make sure her wounds heal well.

While it is always bad news to receive yet another monkey – it only reminds us of the many monkeys that fall victim to the animal trade – for Angelica this new arrival was positive, since she now has a friend to share an enclosure with! In the beginning they were a bit scared of each other, but soon they realised it is nice to have a playmate to cuddle and groom.

Angelica and Evie playing together

After this start of my day, I received some news that got me in a more positive mood. We received a donation from a girl in Canada, who donated the money she received for her 15th birthday to CERCOPAN. I am so happy to know there are people out there that care so much! When I found out the new mona monkey is a girl, the name was therefore easy to choose: we named her Evie, after the generous girl that made the donation.

Stay put for more news on the new monkeys in our CERCOPAN family!

 

Another victim of monkey trade

It has been over three weeks since I last posted an update about James, our little tantalus monkey that was sick and very lonely in the clinic. Unfortunately, this little man has still not been allowed to return to his group. While his condition has stabilised and his weight has increased, the improvements came slowly. Now we are starting to consider him strong enough to go back – if only the rains would stop for a moment! Despite this delay, however, we are very pleased to see James’ condition return to normal, and we are relieved he has made it through this mysterious illness.

James has not been our only patient. One red-eared guenon and one sclater’s guenon needed stitches after engaging in a heavy fight with a group member. Also, earlier this week, a new resident arrived – a red-eared guenon of about one month old. She was taken from a hunter, who had killed the mother and planned to sell the baby as a pet. At one month, this baby should be with her mother 24-hours a day, and she is not independent yet. She cries a lot, but what can we expect after the trauma she went through! Luckily, she has now gotten to trust me a little bit, and she has started to eat and drink quite well.

 

Sleeping with a surrogate “mother”

As soon as the rains decrease and her condition has improved, we will put her with other monkeys in the quarantine during the day. Having contact with other monkeys – rather than humans – is important for the rehabilitation process. After all, we don’t want her to become too used to people! For the time being, however, there is no other way. She craves contact so much that we are afraid she might loose the will to live if we don’t give her attention…

 

Looking much brighter already

The fight of James continues

Little James is still in the clinic, fighting to get better. On some days, he looks healthy; then his temperature drops again suddenly, and we have to keep supplying him with hot water bottles in order to get him to a normal body temperature. He also still has recurring diarrhea.He eats well though, especially his favourite foods – boiled eggs and baked beans!

Later today we will receive more results from the lab, and we hope that this will allow us to target his disease effectively!

James fighting to get better

This past week, a lot of my time and worries went to our smallest tantalus monkey, James. Usually the most playful of the lot, one morning we found him inactive and with watery eyes. He lost his appetite for both playing and food! We quickly took him into the lab and gave him deworming medication, vitamins, and lots of his favourite food in the hope to pull him out of the sad state he was in.

James in better times, active and mischievous!

James gave us even more worries by refusing to take metrodinazole. Any time he gets it – whether pill or liquid form – he swallows, but immediately makes himself vomit losing all the medications! Luckily, we could give it to him with an intravenous injection, and with success! His diarrhoea is gone and his appetite is improving.

Now, we are waiting for his condition to improve and especially his weight to go up. His temperature still drops at times, so we keep a close eye on him in the clinic. Being a very social animal, James misses his friends so we all take turns to keep him company. James arrived earlier this year after spending his three months quarantine period at the Drill Ranch in Calabar. His previous caretakers also make regular visits to keep James company during his lonely confinement in the clinic!

James in the clinic