Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In memory of Osso

When Osso first arrived in Lwiro she was very skinny and tired. She had traveled far to come to us and she was very affected by loosing her mother and her family. Osso arrived together with Maiko, who had become like a big sister for her. Osso had not yet gotten her canine teeth wich meant that she was very young, under 1 year of age. It was very hard emotionally the first time she crawled onto my lap, she was only skin and bones. And most of our first night together I spent crying with her on my lap.

After one week she was eating well and had given me a little smile. All the workes at the sanctuary loved Osso, she was the most beautiful chimpanzee they'd ever seen! She had lots of long hair, wich is something the congolese really like. I spent some amazing months with Osso, before I had to leave and go back home to Norway. It gave me such joy to see the development in her, from the day she arrived until she gave me that last hug before I left.

Osso will be sadly missed and remembered by everyone that knew her. Rest in peace little one.


In memory of Banro

Banro was so special and unique, as all great apes are. Every one is so different in looks, temperament and personality. When she arrived, she was understandably withdrawn and clingy with me, her assigned carer. It took two days before she responded to games and began to play. But it took her about a week before her real personality shone through. She was a little adventurer. She loved to climb the trees in the garden and run over the clean laundry Mama Guillemine had laid out to dry. Although confident, she would often run back for reassurance when she felt unsure of something. When her months quarantine came to an end, it was time for her to be integrated into the baby nursery. It took a few days, but once she felt comfortable she loved having the other babies to play with. After all, no human can play as well as a chimpanzee! She found particular comfort with Julius, who she slept with often during nights. Banro will be sadly missed by all. Rest in peace little angel.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Sad times in Lwiro

It's been some very sad and trying times for everyone working with Lwiro. It started a bit over a month ago, when some of the chimps in the nursery group got sick. First we thought it was a normal flu. But soon they all got very sick, and wouldn't eat just sleep. We were very scared for all of them, Maiko, Osso, Julius, Fizi, Banro, Uvira, Ituri and Okapi (Monique Epulu). They were moved to the quarantine by the sanctuary house as soon as they got sick to prevent spreading to all the primates, they developed a rash and we think the disease was in fact measels. In the beginning of march we got the first sad news. Banro had died and just a few days later we got the message that also Osso had had to give up. Very sad to loose them both for everyone working in and is involved with the sanctuary. Luckily the rest of the babies recovered, but the disease spread to the sanctuary and several chimps and monkeys had sympthoms, only Pablo got very sick, but luckily recovered. We are very relived it is over and hope it will never happen again.


Sick babies with their keeper

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The new dormitory will soon be finished!

Here are some pictures of the new chimpanzee dormitory. They are working on the interior and it will be finished soon. This will help a lot with the space for the chimps in the sanctuary. And then we need money to start the fence...