Tag Archives: Nigerian primates

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.

Compassionate about Conservation

Since CERCOPAN started to rescue Nigerian monkeys in 1995, the welfare and well-being of the orphans has been our ultimate priority. Over the years, as the project grew, primate conservation and forest protection became obvious objectives, leading to the formation of a partnership in 2000 with Iko Esai community to conserve their community forest and reintroduce rehabilitated primates there. These two main facets of our work, Welfare and Conservation were at the heart of the Compassionate Conservation International Symposium organized in Oxford at the beginning of September. CERCOPAN representatives Sylvain Lemoine (Research Coordinator) and Zena Tooze (CERCOPAN founder) attended the symposium to present the results of our first reintroduction of Mona monkeys and to discuss its benefits and consequences for the welfare of guenon Cercopithecine species.

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Sylvain and Zena at the Compassionate Conservation Symposium

The main objective of the Symposium was to bring together conservation and welfare science which although naturally interconnected, have tended to be entirely discrete due to welfare’s focus on the individual, and conservation’s focus on populations. The Compassionate Conservation approach states that “the well-being of individual animals should be considered when making conservation decisions”. This philosophy is very much in line with CERCOPAN’s vision and it is very apparent to our staff that all of our monkeys are different and that they each respond differently. Whilst this seems obvious when considering primates, which are thought intuitively to be ‘more conscious’ than other animals, it also appears to be true for many other species of animals, from the simplest to more complicated.

For two days, researchers, conservationists and specialists in welfare science presented their various projects at the Symposium and discussed ethical issues arising from making conservation decisions. A common point of view was that no animal should suffer under any circumstances, and that the well being of individuals should always be a key consideration in any conservation research project. The idea of a compassionate conservation will hopefully show that science can be used to serve individual animals and that empathy and sympathy can go hand in hand with biological science.

We are very grateful to AAP for providing the necessary funding to our team to attend this conference.

www.compassionateconservation.org

www.aap.org

Abused baby monkey leaves CERCOPAN staff deeply saddened

On Wednesday (14th October) despite doing everything we possibly could, we were unable to save a young male mona monkey brought to us at CERCOPAN.  This tiny mona arrived to us in a cardboard box, collapsed in a heap and shaking all over.  The man who brought him in said his brother had purchased the monkey that morning and it had been fine, but during the day it had become like this. As we continued to examine the mona, we found that he had a black eye, a wound on his upper lip, was dehydrated and highly disorientated.

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A mona of similar size to the young male brought in
We questioned the man further, at which point he changed his story and said he had been like this when his brother made the purchase.  Realising we were going to get no closer to understanding the circumstances we carried the mona to our vet lab where our Vet Assistant, Austin, began trying to work out why the infant was shaking so severely, similarly to an epileptic fit.  We were mentally going through all the possible conditions that may have caused these symptoms.  The moment we took its temperature though we understood.  His temperature was 42?C (nearly 108?F). We quickly tried to cool him down,  gently wetting his fur and fanning him.  He was still ‘fitting’, a common side effect to such a high temperature, and we held his hands so he had something to hold on to and so that he felt comforted.  He was making small squeals, not like any normal vocalisation a healthy mona would make, and we could tell he was in a lot of pain.

We managed to get his temperature down to the normal level of 38 ?C and he started to reduce his shaking while becoming more aware of his surroundings.  Relieved that he was becoming more stable we started to look in to the next stage of treatment.  We made up a sugar/salt solution to begin to combat the dehydration and fed it to him with a syringe.  Sadly, not long after, the mona started taking another turn for the worse, this time in the opposite direction with his temperature dropping.

We quickly gave him a hot water bottle and wrapped him up in blankets.  He was beginning to shake again and his whimpering told us he was still in pain. Pandrillus vet Ainare did everything she could to save him but despite all of our best efforts he passed away.  We were all desperately sad but also at least relieved the poor infant was suffering no longer.  A post-mortem revealed massive trauma to the head, likely due to being hit with something or kicked.  All of the staff of CERCOPAN had tears in their eyes and were disgusted that anyone could do this to an animal.

Later that evening the brother, who had originally purchased the mona turned up at CERCOPAN to ‘collect’ his monkey.  We explained to him the circumstances of his death and that, even if the monkey had survived, it would not have been given back to him under any conditions, as is protocol at CERCOPAN.  We gave him  tour of CERCOPAN and spent a long time explaining to him why monkeys should not be kept as pets, and the legal implications of doing so under Nigerian law.  A sad day for all here, but it made us all more determined than ever to educate people about wildlife and to provide safe haven for all of the monkeys out there that so desperately need our help.