On Saturday the 1st of August I was in Bukavu at the head office of Coopera (the managing NGO for the CRPL). I was driving along the road with two other staff members when we saw a baboon in a tree in one of the houses. We got out of the car to get a closer look at the monkey and we realized she was tied to a tree. She had no water or food at that point in time, but she looked like she was in good condition. We followed the protocols and called the ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) so that they could follow up on the confiscation.
Within a few hours all of the paperwork was in order and the park ranger went to confiscate the baboon. I accompanied them to show them where the baboon was. The people in the house allowed us into the yard where the baboon was being kept so that we could discuss the issue. The park ranger was extremely professional and calm with the people and explained that it is illegal to have a pet primate. The people asked if we could wait and talk to the owner of the monkey, so we remained at the house for about an hour. In this time, both I and the ranger groomed the little female Olive Baboon, she is about 3 years old. She was very gentile and seemed to enjoy the interaction. The cord around her waist was attached to the tree. She only has about a meter of leeway to move around. The owner did not show up to the house, and eventually the people there agreed that we could take the baboon. She was transported to the office of the ICCN where she stayed for two nights before she was transported to the CRPL.
Upon arrival to the CRPL Bavo (the name of the baboon) was put into the cage with Kalonge (a male Olive Baboon about 4 years old) and an adult female Yellow Baboon, Brandy. Unfortunately, we have extremely limited space at the sanctuary and therefore had nowhere suitable to quarantine Bavo. Therefore the cage she is in is now in quarantine. We do hope that when we are able to finish the forest exhibit and move most of the chimpanzees there, that we will have better facilities and more space for the monkey residents and also more room for quarantine. As it is the sanctuary is overfull, but while we can provide food and medical care to these animals we will continue to accept them as there is nowhere else for them to go. If you would like to help us please donate through this blog. Every donation can help us reach our goal faster.