Category Archives: Orphaned baby monkeys

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12 months now, and therefore, grants that required matching funds have been withdrawn.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

(zenatooze@icloud.com; zena@cercopan.org; +44-777-610-1492)

Contact in Australia time zone: Claire Coulson
(clairelcoulson@gmail.com; claire.coulson@cercopan.org; +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

zenatooze@icloud.com

zena@cercopan.org

+44-777-610-1492

Contact in Australia time zone:

Claire Coulson

clairelcoulson@gmail.com

claire.coulson@cercopan.org

+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.

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

CERCOPAN back to blogging!

The CERCOPAN blog has been dormant for a while… but I am fully committed to again provide you with frequent updates on the ins and outs of our activities in Nigeria! I am Nicky, Director at CERCOPAN. Based in Calabar, I frequently travel to our field locations in Rhoko forest camp and Iko Esai community to make sure all our programmes run smoothly. They usually don’t – one of the perks of my job is that I am called upon whenever problems arise, but not when things are going well! With 36 Nigerian staff members, 6 long-term expat volunteers, a PhD researcher, 172 monkeys, three cats, eight dogs, and a goat, you can imagine my CERCOPAN family is a demanding one. While slightly distracting at times – especially when trying to meet a deadline for a grant application or report – I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Below, as introduction for the new “round” of blogs, a reminder of who CERCOPAN is and what we do!

me & some of our Calabar staff

The Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN) is a UK-registered Charity (Reg. No. 1116955) with operations in Cross River State, Nigeria. Our mission has remained the same since we were founded in 1995: to conserve Nigeria’s monkeys and their rainforest homes. CERCOPAN’s work benefits monkeys, communities, and the rainforest to ensure long-term sustainable impact.

RESCUE AND REHABILITATION OF FOREST PRIMATES

CERCOPAN has over 150 primates of 6 different species in various stages of rehabilitation, most of them orphaned by the bushmeat trade. Three of these (the sclater’s guenon, preuss’ guenon and the red-eared guenon) are endangered and only found in this region of Africa. These primates serve as a focus for education, and act as ambassadors for conservation.

Sclater's guenon Ubie

The monkeys are often sick and traumatised upon arrival, and need medical care as well as behavioural and social rehabilitation. The primates, once healthy, are introduced into a group of their own kind. In these groups, social learning between individuals helps the monkeys to improve their behavioural repertoires and portray more natural behaviours. Importantly, social groups are also a tremendous welfare improvement as compared to individual housing.

For those monkeys who are rehabilitated successfully, the ultimate goal is to be returned to the rainforest. In Rhoko Forest, 90km north of Calabar, CERCOPAN’s monkeys live in a one-hectare open forest enclosure where they are prepared for life in the wild. Ultimately, the monkeys are released into the community-protected forest. The restoration of the monkey populations in this area, which have been depleted due to hunting, is important for the regeneration of the forest as well as for the wellbeing of CERCOPAN’s animals.

Red-capped mangabey in Rhoko

Due to the scale of the illegal bushmeat trade combined with CERCOPAN’s successful education campaign, the demand for space at CERCOPAN is enormous. Currently, the primate rehabilitation facilities at Rhoko and Calabar are full. CERCOPAN plans to expand the facilities on a new site, building more enclosures and a larger education centre in the near future to meet this demand.

COMMUNITY-BASED FOREST CONSERVATION

Conservation of primates is just as important as conservation of the rainforests they live in. In Nigeria, pressure on the forests is high – the country has lost more than 90% of its rainforests, and more than half of what remains is found within Cross River State. These forests, along with those in Southwest Cameroon, are collectively known as the “Cross River Rainforests”, and are regarded as one of Africa’s five forest biodiversity hotspots.

CERCOPAN recognises that local communities rely on the forest just as much as the monkeys do. For over a decade, CERCOPAN has a partnership with the local communities adjacent to the release forest, working with them towards sustainable forest exploitation. Through partnerships with local communities, CERCOPAN ensures the protection of almost 40,000 hectares of tropical rainforest.

 

Community forest

The people from the villages Iko Esai, Owai, and Agoi Ibami have stopped primate hunting and logging. In return, CERCOPAN provides boreholes, vaccinations, and training on alternative livelihoods and sustainable farming practices. CERCOPAN strives to ensure excellent community relations through a regular community newsletter and the employment of several staff dedicated to community development including a Community Programme Officer, Education Assistant and Small Scale Micro-enterprise advisor. In addition, most of our 36 Nigerian staff originates from the partner villages.

CERCOPAN is working with three main target groups in the communities; women, youths and hunters, helping them to earn an alternative income. These micro-enterprises include activities such as snail farming, bee keeping, bread making and basket weaving and are implemented at a very local, low cost level providing a source of food and income for the community. This partnership is key to ensure that both wildlife and local communities can reap the benefits of the rainforest for many years to come!

Bread baking training in Iko Esai

EDUCATION

Education is an integral and vital part of our programme, both in rural and urban environments. Each term we conduct outreach programmes in over 50 schools and 2 universities. Conservation Clubs are functioning in 4 schools and 2 universities. CERCOPAN also has a Calabar-based conservation club since 2003 comprising of over 25 members. The group consists of highly motivated and interested students from secondary schools in Calabar. CERCOPAN receives over 20,000 visitors a year at Calabar and Rhoko. Depending on the age and understanding of the visitor, the goal is for visitors to take away a few simple messages about conservation and primates.

Educating the next generation

CERCOPAN’s facebook fun (I mean fan) page

Despite the slow internet speeds in the African continent (or no net at all!), CERCOPAN has become very technically minded!  Now, in addition to our Wildlife Direct blog and our website www.cercopan.org CERCOPAN can be found to have a strong presence on Facebook.  Facebook, that has taken the world by storm in recent years, have pages dedicated to charity causes and CERCOPAN has been the proud owner of one for 8 months now, having over 750 members and having raised $175.  However now, in addition to that, we have just started a CERCOPAN fan page and it has lots of exciting topics to be investigated!

Look out for our cause page icon above, featuring Mickey the red-eared guenon

Look out for our cause page icon above, featuring Mickey the red-eared guenon

Not only can you flick through a wide range of our photos, several previously unseen, any time you wish that include the monkeys, Rhoko camp and forest, our World Environment Day celebrations, and many other categories soon to come, but you can also participate in surveys (currently to vote on what to name our new baby mangabey), start discussions with us and other fans on a variety of topics, sign up for our monthly Enewsletter, and be transferred to our shop to buy CERCOPAN products including adoption packs and posters!  Plus you can even access our Wildlife Direct blog from there though our networked blogs link!  We soon hope to bring video footage to it too so you can see the monkeys and our team in action! 

Vote on what to name Quality's new baby on our facebook fan page (Photo copyright of Oskar Brattström)

Vote on what to name Quality's new baby on our facebook fan page (Photo copyright of Oskar Brattström)

Why don’t you check it out and make further suggestions on our discussions board on what you would like to see up there?  It’s a work in progress so we would love your feedback!
Keep your eyes open for this image as its our fan page logo!

Keep your eyes open for this image as its our fan page logo!