Tag Archives: Primate rehabilitation

Reintroducing Robotta

Robotta the Red Eared Guenon CERCOPANThe last few weeks at CERCOPAN have been very difficult, after beloved Red Eared guenon ‘Robotta’  became very ill and seemed unable to move her back legs. As soon as we noticed the first symptoms, she was moved into the office for constant observation and we began a course of medication and extreme TLC. In complete contrast to mangabeys, when guenons fall ill, they tend to become depressed and not want to eat or drink, which makes them feel even worse and want to eat even less.  Our challenge is therefore to keep them eating and drinking no matter how sorry for themselves they feel. Thankfully we have a few tricks up our sleeve – baby food made with milk and honey, smoothies made with all of their favourite fruits, foods that are of interest as they have never encountered them before and a list of the things we know each animal likes best. If the monkeys wont take the food themselves, we encourage by hand feeding, syringe feeding and presenting different options throughout the day until we succeed – sometimes I think they start eating simply because they realise it is the easier option as we are even more stubborn than they are!

Robotta and Rudolpha interact through the mesh

When Robotta first arrived at CERCOPAN, she was so sick we thought we would not be able to pull her through. She surprised us all, when after a period of intensive care not only did she make a full recovery, she quickly became the largest and most dominant baby in quarantine! Thankfully Robotta had the same response to treatment on this occasion and within a matter of weeks was fit, active, using her legs and ready to return to her group. As she was away from the other red-eared guenons for some time however, we had to slowly reintroduce her. This is because when you remove any monkey, even it is only for a few weeks, the dynamics of group can change and the primate may not receive the warm welcome home you would expect.

As a first step we placed Robotta in the satellite of the enclosure, so all animals could interact through the mesh. After a couple days of observations, we let Robotta out into the group but quickly removed her when Rudolpha and Flexi, began giving her a hard time. With Robotta again separated,we  introduced Rudolpha independently and by the end of the day they were mutually grooming one another.  Flexi, the youngest of the group, is still not sure what to think of Robotta’s return, but we are sure he will come around over the next few days and thankfully life in the Red eared group will return to normal.

If you would like to help us care for the Red Eared Guenons at CERCOPAN, please consider adopting Robotta’s group today http://cercopan.org/adopt/

 

 

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.

 

 

New babies flexy and delight rescued by CERCOPAN

by Amy Baxter, Temporary Office and Finance Manager

CERCOPAN is pleased to announce that we now have two new additions to our monkey residents!  Saved from an uncertain fate, two young putty-nosed guenons, Flexy and Delight, were rescued by staff and brought to our Calabar compound.  We had a tip-off from a secondary school teacher who visited CERCOPAN with his class not long a go.  While he was here we explained to the class why primates shouldn’t be kept as pets and told them that it was even against the law in Nigeria.  After this short visit to our site, he walked past a compound where he could see two young putty-nosed guenons and he immeditely came to CERCOPAN to inform us.  We were very pleased that our educational messages were successfully absorbed and it gives us great hope for the future that we can continue to change the opinions of Nigerian residents!

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His information indicated that the owner sold monkeys commercially and so we were even more concerned and determined to rescue the pair and to stop any more trade.  Our Education Assistant, Martina, stopped by the compound on the way to work to investigated the situation further.  She was very concerned upon arrival about the number of ‘area boys’ close by, a group known to be involved in criminal activities and often very dangerous.  She left without entering the compound but could see one putty-nosed guenon from where she stood.  Our bravest lads decided they would all go together to confiscate the putties, feeling strength in numbers was the best pproach on this occasion. They had expected a long debate with the owner to persuade him to give up the pair, but the whole situation turned out to be much easier than expected…….

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Vet nurse Austin with Flexy and Delight

The owner knew CERCOPAN and had visited in the past as he loved monkeys.  He recognized Martina immediately and said he had expected to receive a visit from us at some point.  Our staff asked him is he knew keeping monkeys was against the law and he did, as did his wife who had been nagging him to take them to CERCOPAN for some time!  He had planned to go but had become so attached to the pair, that he had been postponing the visit.  He admitted that had previously  traded in monkeys, selling them for about 8000 naira each (approximately ?30) but had often kept them for a while before selling them to enjoy their company.  When our team had arrived the monkeys were running around the compound, having escaped from their enclosure, but were quite happy to stay around the family home.  They were playing in the trees and climbing on the roof, not a bit disturbed by this large group of people watching their antics.

While arranging the hndover of the monkeys with the owner, we discovered one of them didnt actually belong to him. They had been placed together by the two separate owners to keep each other company.  He was very hesitant to give up the second animal, explaining that the other owner would think he had sold the monkey to make money. The next hour was spent trying to contact the other owner and then negotiating with him and his family. Eventually, our staff finaly talked him into releasing the monkey into our care and Flexy nd delight were brought home to CERCOPAN. They are a friendly and confident pair, even around humans.  So much so that they didn’t even need a travel box on the car journey home, cheerfully clinging to each other and Egu, our head keeper’s, arm.

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Now they are waiting at CERCOPAN for their medical tests so they can be moved in to a big group with other puttys.  We have 3 other young puttys and 1 slightly older individual already waiting to move out from quarantine and they will form one big happy group once Flexy and Delight are ready.  They won’t be without their guardian though, making sure they all stay in line; Double Chief, an old male, with be put in charge of the nursery group and will make sure no one misbehaves!