Tag Archives: red-eared guenon

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/

 

 

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

‘Laying’ the foundations for good health and family financial stability in rural Nigeria

CERCOPAN has worked in its host village of Iko Esai for 10 years but, as of 2010, we have also expanded our alternative livelihood community work to over 100 people in Agoi Ibami, a neighbouring village. One of the larger projects targeting women is poultry farming for egg production, which can be done effectively at household level.

Catherine with chicken coop.jpg

Caroline with her partially completed enclosure

Eggs are an excellent source of healthy protein which are difficult and expensive to buy at village levels due to the poor state of access roads to external markets. Local chicken breeds do not produce high quality eggs for consumption and so CERCOPAN, with funding from BNRCC (Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change), has provided assistance to 15 women in Agoi Ibami to purchase agricultural layers that can provide a long term source of income and household protein.

As no one had tried rearing agricultural chickens in rural areas before CERCOPAN’s community conservation manager (Rachel Hemingway) bought two chickens to determine whether they would thrive and lay on locally available foodstuffs. Happily Fatty, one of the chickens, has started to lay high quality eggs already that are being given out to women in the village to encourage this type of farming.

Fatty.jpg

‘Fatty’ chicken, the experiment on locally available food

As with all our work CERCOPAN cannot continue to finance and expand the livelihoods programme without the generous support of individuals and groups from around the world, who we rely on entirely. Please visit our website www.cercopan.org for more information on how to support us. Also check out our facebook fan and cause pages for more pictures, downloads and updates.

Kids.jpg

Some of the children who will benefit from our expanded livelihood programme

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!

One more endangered baby monkey rescued in time for Christmas

A few days ago, not long after settling our new Managabey into his enclosure at CERCOPAN HQ, we received a phone call from one of our security staff informing us that an endangered baby red-eared guenon was being kept as a pet at a bar.  Our primate care staff immediately dropped everything and got ready to go with the Director, Claire, for a rescue attempt.  With one of our trucks out of action and the other at our forest site, getting there and back would be a problem.  Normally staff would travel on an okada; a bike taxi that can usually be seen weaving between vehicles and passer-bys.  These bike taxis have just been banned within Calabar City centre and this has made a huge impact on our work and daily operations, seriously inhibiting rescue investigations and adding considerable costs to monkey food and construction/maintenance materials.  Taxis have been introduced, but at the moment there are very few in operation and so Claire and the staff were forced to stand at the top of the road and hail a passing vehicle and offered the driver money to take them to get the monkey.

red-eared-guenon-baby-2.jpg

Red ear upon arrival at CERCOPAN

The Red Ear was in a very rough area of town and as Claire, Matthew, Abraham and Joshua walked through the dusty streets carrying the travelling box, a noisy crowd began following behind them. They arrived at the bar to find a small red-eared guenon, about a year old, dangling spider-like on a rope tied to the ceiling. The monkey was able to climb up and down the rope and sit in the rafters, but unfortunately was unable to reach the floor and so was just hanging there, several inches from the ground blocking the entrance of the bar. The Staff quickly identified and approached the owner, whilst Claire went to check the monkeys health and comfort him. It soon transpired that the bar owner had bought the monkey that morning and as a result he was very angry at the thought of giving the animal to CERCOPAN unless we planned to compensate him for his loss of money. CERCOPAN never gives money for a monkey as it encourages the idea that it is a profitable market and may result in people taking more monkeys to deliberately try to sell them to the organisation.  Tension began rising and the bystanders started shouting a CERCOPAN staff, exclaiming that if Claire had not been there they would have ‘beaten’ them. Eventually, Claire and the staff managed to calm the crowd and it was agreed that we would go together to visit the dealer who sold the man the monkey earlier that day.

red-eared-guenon-baby-3.JPG

Baby red ear being comforted by Claire

Some of the more vocal members of the crowd from the bar piled into one vehicle while our staff climbed back into the vehicle they had commandeered, with the driver now clearly wondering how he had managed to get himself into this situation. After a few minutes they arrived at the dealers compound and tense negotiations once again began in earnest. Once the dealer handed over the money he had received that morning the bar owner and his friends left, however, this compound itself had it’s own lively and not too gracious pack who were not happy about the idea of an uncompensated removal of this red-ear monkey.  Claire, practiced at these types of negotiations, remained composed and friendly despite being yelled at by the crowd. She eventually managed to separate and calm some of the most vocal individuals, whilst the staff continued to concentrate on the dealer. After three hours of explaining to all that keeping monkeys as pets in Nigeria is against the law and how a monkey does not make a good pet, the dealer finally took Claire to one side and asked her to send someone back for the animal an hour later when the crowd had dispersed.

It turned out the dealer had been very fond of this little red-ear monkey and had actually treated him very well in comparison to many other cases we have seen.  We feel very lucky to have rescued him at that time as the conditions he was found in at the bar would have made him very sick very quickly.  He is especially friendly and seems to have been trained to lie back very baby-like, enjoying nothing more than a good belly rub.  He loves to take huge leaps between furniture and especially loves jumping on a human from a great distance then leaping straight back off again.  This playful, inquisitive nature has also resulted in many books, cups, pens, and anything else available being carried across the room – not too carefully I may add! Now in quarantine, he has undergone his first TB test and after 14 weeks will be moved in with 2 other red-ear guenons (Mickey and Jerry) that are of a similar age.

red-eared-guenon-baby-1.JPG

The new baby red ear having his belly rubbed

The two new additions bring us to a grand total of 158 monkeys now in our care, and with prices increasing for Christmas and the transport issues also adding additional costs, we are once again feeling the strain. Your donations and support really are so important and enable us to continue to provide the best possible care for every single monkey that needs our help. You can also give your support by purchasing a CERCOPAN gift or monkey adoption for your friends and family this Christmas.  Please visit our shop today at

http://www.cercopan.org/support

Urgent appeal – Crisis Situation

It’s a sad fact that charities and organizations across the world are suffering the knock on effects of the global financial crisis. Donors are drying up and support from individuals is lessening as people look to solving problems closer to home. CERCOPAN tries not to rely on appeals of this nature but we have found ourselves unexpectedly forced into an extremely difficult situation. We have had to tighten our belts considerably in view of the fact that unrestricted funds for operating costs such as monkey food, enclosure repairs and utility bills are just not forthcoming at present.

We are still supported in educational and rural livelihood development projects, for example, but these funds are assigned to the activities the funding organizations have specified. Our desperation at this time is the need to find funds simply to continue our day to day operations so that we can honour these commitments and most importantly give the food and care that our rescued monkeys require. We have been cutting expenses in peripheral areas for some time now and have put all we can personally into making sure these demands are met, however, something can always tip the balance.

Yesterday we received a demand for the rent on the property where our Calabar office and education centre stand; in which we house all of the primates not currently in our forest based site. This annual rent has doubled without warning and is required to be paid by the end of next month. Unfortunately we have no right to appeal this increased demand; in the future we would have no such threat to our existence having agreed to move permanently to a free undeveloped site on the University of Calabar’s grounds. We have funding proposals out being considered at the moment to finance this move; but face an imminent and debilitating crisis if we cannot find the necessary money to keep us in place until then.

We are continuing to try exhaustively all avenues of funding we can hope to raise from here but we have reached a point where we need to ask our readers and supporters to help us if at all possible, through whatever means you may have at your disposal, to raise the funds required to continue our work in this difficult time.

Thank you from everyone at CERCOPAN for taking the time to read this.

Claire

baby-sclater-094-kk.jpg

Baby Sclater’s guenon – CERCOPAN houses the only known captive Sclater’s guenons in the world.

Join our Facebook cause

CERCOPAN is now a Facebook Cause!

For those of you who are regular Facebook users, why not join ….

We hope to encourage informal discussion and to post regular news items on the facebook cause page as well as on the blog.  I hope to see you there!

Here is the link: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/308596/68398117?m=6987e7df

sagano-st-1.jpg 

Thanks Christine, Brenton and Brigitta!

Everyone here at CERCOPAN would like to send a sincere thanks to Christine, Brenton and Brigitta for their recent donations.  Thoughtful people like you, keep CERCOPAN running.  Every dollar counts and helps us to care for each of our monkeys, especially by keeping them fed.  As you can see, they really do appreciate it!  As always, please stay posted for more updates and pictures.

lip-licking-mangabey.jpg

mangabey-eating-orange.jpg

Maya, CERCOPAN’s rescued baby putty-nosed guenon

By: Sam Trull

Our newest orphaned arrival here at CERCOPAN finally has a name…Maya!  When she first arrived here on May 26th she was estimated to be only 6 weeks old and didn’t even have her white “putty nose” yet (see picture in previous post).  She was rescued from a local market where someone was trying to sell her for a profit after undoubtedly killing her mother.  Very shy and scared on her first day here, Maya has since become very outgoing and while she mostly enjoys the comfort of my arms, she has taken quite well to having play sessions on the couch with anyone who will give her attention.   

baby-grooming-mommy.JPG 

It is so much fun watching her grow up and learn.  Each day she gets stronger, bigger and wiser.  She has recently started taking quite large leaps, making keeping her in-line quite difficult.  She is so curious, always wondering what different things taste like, trying to put everything in her mouth after touching it with her hands and staring at it for a second.  She is also becoming much more confident during her play sessions.  Initially, barely leaving me to venture out onto the couch, and then returning to the safety of my lap after each step.  She is now running all up and down the couch with increasing velocity and only checking in with me for a quick running leap into my arms or to have a wrestling session with my fingers. 

baby-on-leg.JPG

Wanting to give her the attention that she needs, but still be able to keep up with all my other daily tasks often requires that she sit upon my shoulders while walking around the office or working at my desk.  Taking advantage of the sudden close proximity to my head, Maya often starts to groom me by rummaging through my hair or nibbling on my ears.  To say that this is adorable is an understatement and while I will be happy on the day that she joins one of our putty groups here in Calabar, I know that it will be hard to let her go.  I look forward to sleeping a little more and having cleaner clothes, but I will miss her calling for me, snuggling into my chest and most of all knowing that I am doing everything I can to make up for the tragedy she has already experienced at such a young age. 

baby-standing.JPG

Because of CERCOPAN Maya has a ‘mother’, she has a safe place to live, all the food she could want and most importantly, because of CERCOPAN, Maya has a chance. 

maya-staring-at-object.JPG

Food for thought

by Dani Mancini

As my time at CERCOPAN goes by, I am finding myself being given more daily duties and responsibilities and, after returning from the bush to CERCOPAN’s centre in Calabar, I was only more than happy to be given the daily duty of feeding the infant monkeys throughout the day. 

bella-7.JPG

Bella

There are many different groups of young monkeys who all need a milk supplement to their normal fruit diet in order to continue developing properly. Amongst the monkeys I have been put in charge of preparing milk for are 6 juvenile monas, 1 juvenile red tail, 1 juvenile putty and our newest baby orphan putty, all of whom range from just a few months old to around 4 years. In the wild, the monkeys we have here at Cercopan would continue nursing for a few years after birth so, when in captivity, it is important to continue to supplement their diet in the same way to ensure they do not miss out on any of the essential vitamins and minerals they require for growth.

  dani-pouring-milk.jpg

Dani giving infants milk  

The milk given to the monkeys is made from the vitamin rich powdered milk, Nan, which is given at 2 hour intervals throughout the day between the hours of 9 and 6. In order to imitate the milk the infants would naturally receive from their mothers the milk is served lukewarm and, for the youngest of our infant monkeys, in a little milk-bottle to simulate their mothers’ teat. The best part about being able to feed the young monkeys here is that it is the perfect opportunity to get to know each individual personality. I always try and take a few moments to stay and watch the infants when they feed as it is the most fantastic way of learning first hand  just how unique and complex each individual can be. I’ve also gained a slight amount of trust from the infants – one of the young monas, Tina, now even insists on giving me a little groom each time I go to deliver her group’s milk!. It has also shocked me just how intelligent these young monkeys are, if there’s a way of getting to the milk before they are supposed to, they will find it. Even the monkeys in neighbouring cages hatch cunning plans to steal the infants’ milk. Billy the one eyed mona, who neighbours the young red tail, for example, has found a way of reaching through his cage mesh to get to the milk bowl next door. And when he’s got it…he certainly isn’t prepared to let go!  Whilst all volunteers here at CERCOPAN are more than willing to invest the time needed to dish out these milk supplements, I am growing to understand that it is proving to be a huge financial strain. Each day the young monkeys work their way through a whole tin of Nan and, given that it is a high cost item, it is one of CERCOPAN’s largest food expenditures. It is, however, integral to our young infants’ development that we continue to enhance their diets in this way so in some cases, cut backs are having to be made elsewhere. 

However, I have to add that the more time I spend here, the more I am inspired by how much NGOs such as CERCOPAN can achieve with so little funds and, whilst I am volunteering here, I am determined to do all that I can to help.

 smoonie.jpg

 Bella and Jerry