Friday, September 5, 2008

Baboon shot in Kahuzi Biega NP

Yesterday the sanctuary manager and vet, Carmen, received a call from the ICCN officials to inform her of a baboon who needed rescuing in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. This baboon had been shot in the arm by a drunken soldier who was patrolling the park. The soldier has been formally charged by the military and has received a jail sentence. As it was late in the afternoon, and the baboon was some way into the forest, Carmen decided they had the most chance of success if they headed into the park the next morning. Carmen and her colleague spent that night preparing the equipment and medications they would need for the rescue, and planning the next day.

Heading out at first light, they reached the area the baboon had last been seen, a few hours later. After searching for a half an hour, they found the male Olive Baboon about 100 meters up the road from the original sighting. He not only had the wounded arm from the gun shot, but the other arm was also missing, presumably from being caught in a trap as a young animal. They darted him, and took him back to the sanctuary where they preformed surgery. The wound is on the elbow joint and so he will at best never be able to move his arm. Carmen was discussing the case with some local researchers and villages, and soon discovered that this baboon was very well known, and already had a name, ‘Shumbi’. Shumbi is so well known because of the lack of arm, and also as he is so old. He has eaten well, and recovered well from the first anesthetic. However, we do not know yet if he will survive.

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