Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank you!

We've had a great month when it comes to donations on this blog! And we would just like to thank the people that have contributed! Your support means a lot to us, and we promise that your money will be well spent for the best of the primates in Lwiro!

Greg S. 25$

Kirsty D. 150$

Dan H. 100$

Nicholas O. 100$

Thank you so much!!
Beautiful little boy Muhungu!
We promise to have more updates on what is happening in Lwiro soon. It's very busy at the moment with the five new ones, and a bit short on people as Carmen is away on a well deserved holiday. She will be back by the end of the month, and Andrea will also be back in Lwiro soon! So we're hoping to be able to give you more frequent updates then!

Monkey lottery in Norway!

Me (Hilde) and Jeanette is running a little organisation in Norwary called Friends of Lwiro, former AWARE Norway. We both spent several months in Lwiro and hope to go back in the autumn. In the mean time we're trying to raise as much money for the project as possible here in Norway.
A few weeks ago we arranged a lottery for Lwiro. We have previously arranged 3 of these with quite good success, raising 4-4500 dollars each time. And this one was an even bigger success! We starte with a little talk about the project, and then we had some quick lotteries before the draw of the main lottery. All the prices were donated from local shops and businesses. Especially Kristiansand Zoo gave us a lot of cuddely toys, and the main price were zoo keeper for a day. There was a lot of prices, and I think most people there won something.
And a lot of people turned up, a lot more than previous lotteries and it was great! We also had a café and a fishing pond for the kids with nice little prices. All in all we raised about 6000 dollars and I think all our guests had a great time! We're very happy to be sending some more money to our little ones in Lwiro! Hopefully a little start to build the fence around the forrest for the chimpanzees!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meet the Aketi5!

Mangay, male

Kathé, female

Django Mayanga, male

Bolungwa, female

Aketi Kigoma, male

All photos courtesy of Cleveland Hicks

Rescued from terrible conditions

Like all the chimpanzees in Lwiro, the Aketi 5 was also rescued from terrible conditions beeing held illegaly as pets. The chimps were not bought or traded in for any favors. They were either given up voluntarily or confiscated by the authorities. The owners were informed about chimpanzees, why it is a bad idea to keep them, and that they are a protected species. It is illegal to hunt or keep chimpanzees as pets in Congo.

It is very important never to buy a chimpanzee, because then the hunter will think it is a good idea, to go and kill another family of chimpanzee just so he can steel their babies.

Most chimanzee orphans that are captured die due to lack of proper care, the ones that don't usually end up beeing killed when they get too big and unmanageable.

Here are Bolungwa, Kathe and Aketi before they were rescued.



Aketi Kigoma

All photos courtesy of Cleveland Hicks

Life in Bonganzulu Sanctuary

After the chimps were rescued they had a good life and was well looked after in the Bonganzulu Sanctuary in Aketi. But the lack of money and support did that they had to find a new home for the chimpanzees and they ended up coming to Lwiro. As all the chimps coming here they are very welcome, but we would have prefered that they were still in the forrest with their mothers and family.
Relaxing in the trees
Bolungwa and Kathé
Cleve with his chimps in Bonganzulu
All photos courtesy of Cleveland Hicks

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Read about the 5 chimps from Aketi

Cleve Hicks has written a very nice ebook about his work in Aketi in Northern Congo. Laura and Adam took over the responsibility of the five chimpanzees when he left. He has been researching chimpanzees and the increasing bushmeat trade in the area, and ended up with the 5 orphans, but sadly observed many more. Follow this link to find the books Aketi field season 2007-2008, part 1,2 and 3.
In part 3 you find the story of the 5 chimpanzees from Aketi; Kathé, Django Mayanga, Bolungwa, Aketi Kigoma and Mangé.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Aketi 5 is safe in Lwiro

On monday the five chimpanzees from Aketi north in Congo, arrived safely in Lwiro. It was a very dramatic move, and you can read all about it on Laura and Adams blog
The important thing is that the 5 chimpanzees are safe an well in Lwiro. They've got the honor of beeing the first residents of the new dormitory! And keeper Claud is looking after them.
Here are some photos from the flight.
Well done Laura and Adam!


Laura and Adam did great work getting the chimps to Lwiro!

Chimps on a plane

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thoughts on our struggle

What all conservationists and animal aid workers want in the long run (or short if it were possible) for animals such as the chimpanzee to be safe and well in their real homes, the forests in which they belong. However, while the illegal mining, animal trade and deforestation continues this is not a possibility. We continue to receive babies who are affected, and can only make educated guesses that many more die, for that one baby we have arrive at the sanctuary. So while we strive with all we can muster to make the lives of the ones in the sanctuary comfortable and safe; what we really want is for them to have never arrived, and to still be safe within their groups, with their mothers in the forest which they belong. Loosing these babies highlights this plight once again. Although, the sanctuary staff give their all to keep these animals safe and well, sometimes it feels as though it is in vein. I hope we can all work together to help to keep these amazing animals safe and well in their real homes.


This is very well said from Andrea, and I would just like to sign it as well! Hilde