Tag Archives: Wildlife Direct

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.

Compassionate conservation symposium photo.JPG

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.



Donate to CERCOPAN via the National Wildlife Humane Society

Just within the past few weeks we have established a promising new alliance with a like-minded conservation organisation in the United States. The National Wildlife Humane Society (NWHS) is dedicated to reducing suffering among captive and non-captive wildlife.

Patrick Webb, President, founded the Top of the Rock Wildlife Sanctuary in 1990, in Arkansas, U.S.A. Species such as tigers, mountain lions, jaguars, and the snow leopard have been rescued within the US, and brought to the sanctuary to receive specialised long-term care. But in addition to providing sanctuary for non-US-native threatened and endangered species, the organisation also promotes wildlife conservation groups that share its vision of a more humane world for wildlife.

NWHS invited CERCOPAN as one of two organisations based in Africa to feature on their website as an alliance partner. In addition to the publicity NWHS can provide for us on the other side of the Atlantic, the website also provides the means for donors to provide monthly or one off federal tax-deductible donations to CERCOPAN, both mailed and on-line.

It’s a great bonus to us to have an active advocate for our cause on another continent, and this step forward fits right in with our strategy to continue to rapidly expand our publicity using the latest on-line media. We were also delighted when our Director, Claire, was invited to serve on the NWHS Wildlife Advisory Council to provide both primatological support and field-based environmental conservation experience to NWHS.

Read more about NWHS’s work in wildlife care at www.humanewildlife.org and visit CERCOPAN’s page at http://www.humanewildlife.org/cercopan.html

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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!

February CERCONEWS out now!

Finally the February edition of CERCONEWS is available!

Follow this link to download your copy today!



Can you identify CERCOPAN’s rescued mystery bird?

By Sylvain Lemoine

Whilst CERCOPAN primarily aims to rescue and rehabilitate monkeys orphaned by the bush meat trade, on occasion other types of wildlife are brought in to CERCOPAN in need of our help….

On the 23rd of January I arrived at the office and noticed Abakum, our Education Officer, in an animated discussion with a man in our Education Centre. I overheard him explaining why wild animals don’t make good pets and so, assuming he was just giving the usual explanation about CERCOPAN’s mission, I carried on walking and entered the office. I barely had time to type a sentence however, when Abakum marched triumphantly into the office……brandishing a juvenile bird of prey!!!

Bird of prey sunbathing in it's new spacious enclosure

Bird of prey sunbathing in it's new spacious enclosure

The bird’s owner, ironically called ‘Wisdom’, had brought the bird to CERCOPAN hoping to sell it. He had taken the bird from the parents’ nest and had also tried to catch a second slightly larger individual but thankfully it had managed to fly away. Wisdom had taken care of the bird for a month, catching lizards and rats to feed it and consequently was looking to make a sizeable profit for his efforts. After a thorough explanation of the serious consequences of the animal trade from our education officer however, Wisdom freely and willingly handed the animal over, having realized the error of his ways.

Since arriving at CERCOPAN our new boarder is doing very well and tucking greedily into the dead rats and other meat we are providing daily. As hawks and other birds of prey are generally natural predators of monkeys, we have the bird completely separated from our primate residents. We will also gradually reduce the birds contact with humans over the coming weeks to un-domesticate it and once this process is complete, the bird will be released back into the wild.  We are still struggling to identify the bird as the color patterns on juveniles are highly variable, but we think it may possibly be an African Harrier Hawk. If any one out there can conclusively identify the bird we would love to hear from you!

Can you identify our mystery bird?

Can you identify our mystery bird?

How your donations in 2009 helped CERCOPAN

Dear CERCOPAN supporters,

Thank you again for all your support in the past difficult year. We would like to give you an idea to where the $4288 you raised last year went within the organisation.  This amount could pay for a month and a half of monkey food for our 160+ monkeys.  This includes daily fruit, vegetables and nutritious leaves, fish, groundnuts, eggs, and specially cooked monkey cake and moi-moi.  Moi moi is a Nigerian dish made from ground beans, herbs and water.  Within this is also milk and nutrend, a nourishing formula mixed with water and given to young or unwell animals.


Putty nosed guenon eating orange

Those who contributed towards veterinary care helped pay for vital drugs, medical tests, disinfectant, and equipment including babies milk bottles, gloves, surgical blades, facemasks and thermometers.


Vet nurse Austin conduting  faecal tests for internal parasities

Additionally, a lot of people contributed to the rent Calabar premises which was due at a time when we discovered several regularly received grants were cancelled, due to the fiacial crisis.  Without this money we would have surely closed and we are very grateful to all who helped us, during this difficult period.

In 2009, CERCOPAN gained 13 primates through rescues:  7 putty-nosed guenons, 3 mona guenons, 2 red-eared guenons, and 1 red-capped mangabey.  We have also had 7 successful births in our red-capped mangabey pre-release group, contributing towards the conservation of this species.


‘Holly’, one of  the mona monkeys rescued by CERCOPAN in 2009

For the support we received this year we would like to thank

Andrew H, Anna C, Antonio C, Bethany G, Boccagna E, Bryony A, Cathy R, Carl B, Carol Z, Cynthia G, Deborah C, Elizabeth Y, Erik H, Erin E, Harry V, Hope O, Ji-in L, Julie T, Katherine M, Karen L, Karen M, Linda H, Ludovic L, Maciej G, Mark H, Mary H, Megan H, Mr G, Phillip R, Pirjo I,P L, Rebecca B, Robin C, Rupa B, Samantha E, Sara P, Sherri S and Tonia W.

Special thanks for their continued support throughout this year go to:

Brenton H

Brigitta S

Christine C

James M

Jennifer S

Kathy S

Kevin C

Kristine K

Wanda H

CERCONEWS January edition out now!

The new edition of CERCONEWS is out today. Please download using this link cerconews-january-2010.pdf


Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!

First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to all of our readers who donated over the Christmas period; Christine C, Kevin C, Hope O, Cathy R, Karen L and Brenton H. As always, your support is much appreciated, by the staff, volunteers and the monkeys your donations are used directly to help.  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas.


Rudoph the Red Eared Guenon

The end of the year is always a time for reflection, and as 2009 draws to a close, I am of course reminded of the difficult times we experienced this year and how close we actually came to losing our premises as a result of the financial crisis. With that in mind, I would once again like to thank all of our readers and the staff at Wildlife Direct for their unwaivering support during those particulary tough months, without your help, 2009 may have ended on a much bleaker note. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my CERCOPAN family; the wonderful staff and volunteers at CERCOPAN, all of whom worked tirelessly to keep things running and raise funds, who gave up days off, worked long into the night every evening and were always there to lift my spirits and make me smile. I could not ask for a better team.

It is with hope and positivity we look to the New Year and it is already promising to be a monumetal year in the history of our orgnisation and the vital work we undertake. In 2010, we are set to expand our tourism and community programmes, perform a second release of rehabilitated mona monkeys, increase protection of our research area, complete the construction of the Iko Esai Community and Tourist centre and most important of all, begin construction of our new HQ at the 11 hectare wooded site donated by the University of Calabar. I hope you all continue to follow our progress here at Wildlife Direct and will celebrate these advances side by side with us.

I wish you all the very best for the New Year from everyone here!

And once again, Thankyou.



CERCOPAN staff Christmas party