Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Misisi's Introduction a Success!

Misisi went into the cage with the 8 other babies with the support of her caregiver. She dropped to the floor immediately when she entered the cage and the other babies were extremely interested in her. There was a lot of hugging and sniffing from everyone involved. A few minutes later, Fizi decided to test Misisi by dragging her across the floor. Of course a lot of screaming resulted, but no damage was done. All in all, the introduction went better than we could have predicted. Misisi had a few small confrontations with Maiko and Fizi but she either stood her ground or submitted when she needed too. During the day she played and ate very well. When the other babies left her alone she would even go after them to make them play again.

She showed very little interest in her caregiver all day, and when the door to the dormitory opened for the babies to go to sleep, Misisi followed them inside. She lay down on the bedding and went to sleep and didn’t wake until the next morning. Because the introduction went so amazingly well and Misisi was so relaxed she remained in the cage.

The introduction occurred 10 days ago now and Misisi has gone from strength to strength. She has put on weight and now eats everything she is offered. She plays with all the babies in the cage. We could not have hoped for a better introduction. We are so happy Misisi loves her new friends.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Balumes new baby!

And this time it's a human baby! :)
Balume and Guilaine had a beautiful and healthy baby girl on the 21st of June.
Balumes baby Carmen

Balume is chief of staff in the CRPL, and a very important man for the running of the sanctuary. He is also amazing with the chimpanzees, all the chimps love him and he them!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Butembo and Loia, new arrivals

Two new baby chimpanzees arrived on the 15th of July. Butembo and Loia arrived from the Butembo area after a very long two day journey. Both babies are male and are about 1 and a half years old. Butembo is the most outgoing. Within 10 minutes of releasing them from their travel cage he was running around playing with the caregiver. Loia is a little more reserved and took some time to come out of the cage completely. Both babies were very hungry and ate a lot the first afternoon. A few hours after arriving they went into their night cage well and slept all night. On the second day, both ate well and played well also. Both babies have many different parasites and are being treated for this and malnutrition.
Truck arriving with Butembo and Loia

Butembo and Loia will spend their months quarantine with Mama Dorcas (who was removed from the main nursery cage due to the babies becoming too dominant over her). Mama Dorcas is very good with the babies and will provide them with all the love and support they need for this month in quarantine.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Misisi is going well, and quarantine periode is soon finished!

Misisi is doing very well and will finish her quarantine period in 4 days. On the 20th of July she will spend her first day in the nursery cage. For the first few days – or until she is ready – her caregiver will also remain in the cage. Misisi will also sleep inside the house as she has for the last month, in the beginning days of the introduction.

Misisi is becoming stronger each day. She is still being treated for the mouth infection, however, it has almost healed. She eats well and has put on a lot of weight, but she still needs time for her muscles to regenerate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Updates on the nursery group

Here is an update on the members of the nursery group. Of course also Aketi and Mange has joined this group, but here is a long awaited update on the other 6!

Maiko: Maiko is growing bigger by the day. She is extremely dominant within the nursery group and takes on a mother like role at times. She is extremely intelligent and is always searching pockets for anything she can find. When a younger member of the group cries she always comes to help and hug them, even if they don’t want her too!
Fizi: Fizi is the trouble maker in the nursery group. He is cheeky and bold. Although he taunts the other babies at times, he also likes to hug them. He is small in stature, but extremely well muscled and very strong.
Julius: Julius is the quietest chimpanzee in the sanctuary; no one has ever seen him start a fight or anyone start a fight with him. He has grown so much since his arrival. He has a lovely personality, and all of the babies on the group like to be near him.
Julius playing with a football
Uvira: Uvira has become very happy and confident in my five months away from the sanctuary. In the past, he was always hanging off a keeper. But now he is always playing around the cage. He is currently going through a biting stage and chomps at fingers whenever they go near him-he then runs off laughing.

Ituri: Like Kanshi, Ituri has changed so much in my time away. She has grown so fast, and now has an amazing body of hair, and very long legs. She is confident and happy. She plays with people and the other chimps all day.

Monique: Monique arrived while I was away from the sanctuary so I don’t have pervious knowledge of what she was like. She is quiet and sweet and spends a lot of time playing in the hammocks of the cage.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Yonguesa the most dominant member of the Goma group is finally changing her baby teeth for adult teeth. This is supposed to occur at 5 to 6 years of age. Yonguesa is a very big girl, and it has surprised us all that she is only now changing. We have been waiting for her to change her teeth for quite some time now. We are not sure if she is a very large 5 year old, or if she is changing her teeth very late. It is impossible to be sure how old she really is.

Sadly, the little owl that was surrendered to the sanctuary passed away a few days later. We are unsure of the cause of death as there were no obvious signs of illness. The cause of death was most likely stress.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thank you!

The CRPL would like to thank the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) for their assistance in moving the Aketi Chimpanzees to Lwiro. We are so grateful for their support.

The story of the Aketi5 is also featured in IPPL's latest newsletter, you can see it here :

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Misisi is laughing and playing!

Misisi is doing better and better each day. On the morning of day 10 in quarantine she actually woke up and played for the first half an hour. This was the first time she had engaged in any kind of play behavior. She was laughing and rolling around as she was being tickled in bed. Since that first morning, she has not stopped playing. She is now a bundle of energy and laughs. She likes to run around the garden while being chased and then collapses on the ground in hysterical laughter for a tickle. It is wonderful to see how much she has changed, so quickly.

Misisi has also discovered the thrill of climbing trees again. She disappears up a nice leafy tree, builds a nest and has a nap quite often. She is so at home among the branches.

She is putting on weight and is eating well. The antibiotics have worked wonders on her mouth infection which has almost completely disappeared. There is still a lot of healing to occur in the mouth; however she seems to experience no discomfort now. When her one months quarantine is over, she will join the chimpanzees in the Goma Group.
Misisi day 12
Misisi day 10 playing
Misisi day 10 laughing

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update on Kongo and Lume

Kongo and Lume are two of our chimps that came to Lwiro in October-07, you can read their story in our old blog:

Here is a little update on how they are doing now!
Lume was moved out of the Goma group cage about eight months ago because he was being too rough with the other chimpanzees and keepers. He is doing well within the Kongo group-and is very relaxed with Kongo as the alpha male.

Kongo is the head of his group which includes Lume, who he was confiscated with and spent his one month quarantine. He is a happy, playful and kind chimpanzee who rules his group very well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nunuse update

Nunuse, the baby owl-faced monkey was removed from the cage of the female we placed him with after just three days. She had tired of the company, and was discovered biting his leg. He suffered only two small puncture wounds, but we were not willing to take any chances. So he now resides in a cage next to other monkeys for company, until he is old enough to be put in with the other animals.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Update on Misisi

Misis has been with us now for four full days. Her health is improving; the smell is confined to her mouth only and does not surround her whole body. The infection is definitely lessening in her mouth. When you look inside you see less puss and more pink gum. However, now we can see where the infection has eaten away the flesh of her tongue and gum. This should regenerate very quickly though, after the infection is cleared up.

She is eating a lot of food, but all the same type of food. Her favorites are bread, mangos, passion fruits and zinzibare (a local forest fruit). Slowly, she will start to eat other foods, but at the moment we are just happy that she is eating. She refuses milk, baby cereal and bananas which is quite strange as most new chimpanzees love these things.

Misisi still has not played, smiled or laughed. However, today we had a small break through where she chose to lay on my knee for ½ an hour. Although she has sat on my knee before, I have always initiated it. And she always gets off after 10 minutes. Today she seemed comfortable enough to approach me and have a real cuddle. It is a big thing that she is letting down the walls and beginning to trust again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Baby owl

On Friday two men showed up on our front door step at 6:15am. They were carrying a baby owl with them. Carmen went outside to discuss the situation and hoped to be able to obtain the owl from the men. Luckily, she walked out and took the animal out of the man’s hand, to his surprise. They went on to ask for ‘a little something’ for bringing the animal to her. She explained to them that it is illegal to buy or sell a wild animal. And told them if they would like to wait, she will call the local authorities to discuss the situation. They declined and left very quickly.
This situation is not uncommon in this area. People catch wild animals; birds, snakes, primates etc and bring them to us or other people they think have money, and asked to be paid. Sometimes we manage to take the animal, sometimes the people refuse and leave if we tell them we will not pay them. Even at the expense of that one animal, it is important that we do not cave in and give money to these sorts of people. If we do, they will continue to go out and collect more wild animals, hoping that we will continue to give them a ‘little something’ for their trouble. If we do not pay, they may not be bothered with the effort to try again, seeing they got nothing.
Luckily this time, Carmen was able to keep the owl, and did not give the men anything in return. Sadly, it is a baby owl and therefore cannot be released. This is a difficult case for us, as we are a primate sanctuary, and do not have the facilities at the ready to care for a baby, omnivorous, nocturnal bird. However, we are doing our very best for him. He is living at the house with us at present, and we are searching for the appropriate food source which he enjoys the most.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Water play!

With the dry season approaching, Sunday was very hot! So, the keepers decided to spray water in the cage of the Goma Group to help them all cool off. They all had a great time playing and splashed around for an hour. Bolungwa, one of the newest arrivals, in particular loved it. She was swinging from a tire and splashing at the same time.