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
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)
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!
I have just had a visit from one of our volunteers from the bush site and wanted to share with you the good news! The neglected bush dog rescued by CERCOPAN is finally starting to thrive and behave like a normal healthy puppy. Upon arrival she was unable to walk or go to the toilet without being held up and her ears were so full of parasites we actually though she was deaf. She can now climb up and down most of the steps around camp, has started to run, and most recently we discovered that she can bark!
Rescued puppy looking a little overweight!
The first time the pup barked, it was almost as if she didn’t know where the noise was coming from. She just sat on the steps and barked solidly for about 5 minutes, looking somewhat confused. Then for no apparent reason, she approached a kerosene bottle and proceeded to bark at that for 15 minutes. Not exacty an intruder, but obviously she thought good practice for serious guarding duties!
The puppy standing on her own
Simon and the puppy’s relationship has also evolved over the past few weeks. At first the pup was a little nervous when Simon approached and Simon was jealous that a new dog was suddenly the center of attention….having been top dog for quite sometime! Now the puppy likes to sit near Simon and imitate him, pretending to be a big dog too. Simon tries (very unsuccessfully) to act as though he is not impressed with his sudden idol status, but it is clear that he really loves every minute of it. Here are some new pictures of the pup, as you can see she has gained weight and growing stronger every day…..but we stil havent managed to decide on a name for her yet!
I would like to express my appreciation to Jan for her donation to help rehabilitate our now famous baby clawless Otter ‘Eve’. Jan is an Otter expert and has been advising us on Eve’s care since her first days at CERCOPAN. As primate specialists, we are new to raising otters, so all of the advice from Jan and other otter experts has been invaluable. We are hoping to try to move Eve on to fish soon which here in Calabar is very costly, so these funds will really help.
Thanks again for everything Jan
Baby clawless otter Eve exploring her new home
Eve resting and being quiet for once!
As another working day at CERCOPAN ends, we find ourselves with only 32 days left to find the funds to pay the rent on our Calabar premises for another year. With so little time left and $2828 still to find it is a worrying time for all here.
The response to our plea from Wildlife Direct staff and our readers however has been amazing. Special thanks to Oskar, Wanda, Joanne, Christine, Frances and Brenton who have all pledged their support.
Thanks so much guys, you are really lifting our spirits!
Baby mona Teddy with volunteer on his first day at CERCOPAN
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.
Baby Sclater’s guenon – CERCOPAN houses the only known captive Sclater’s guenons in the world.
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.
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 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.
Bella and Jerry