Thursday, December 23, 2010

Learn more about the CRPL

The CRPL is officially managed by a committee of three organisations:

Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) represented by Radar Nisuli, Directeur et Chef de Site au PNKB.

The ICCN is the wildlife authority in DRC. They are in charge of protected areas and community conservation development around these areas. As well, they fight against the illegal animal trafficing and confiscate animals from poachers or private individuals who are housing endangered animals illegally.

Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN) represented by Jacques Mwanga, Chef du département de Biologie du CRSN;The CRSN was established on July 1, 1947 by Prince Charles of Belgium. The CRSN has aimed to raise, promote, conduct and study the sciences of human and nature especially in the Belgian Congo and Rwanda-Burundi.;

NGO Coopera represented by Carmen Vidal, Technical Director.

Coopera is a Spanish NGO which was established in 1994 in Logroño (Spain) to carry out international cooperation projects for development through local NGOs. Since foundation, we have developed projects in Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Guatemala, Peru, México, Israel and now in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

During this time we have stated that the exploitation of natural and biological resources; together with its loss, is one of the main causes of poverty.

For this reason, we use the conservation of biodiversity as a key strategy for the social and economic development of local communities. COOPERA NGO has always used education as the main tool for the interventions’ durability.

Coopera NGO has been working in DRC since November 2006 developing a “Community Conservation Program” in South Kivu Province.

The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) has extended its conservation network across central Africa by granting membership to the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the total number of PASA member sanctuaries that care for orphaned apes and monkeys to 20.

Lwiro is the first new member admitted to PASA since 2008. The facility was accepted into PASA following a detailed application process that included a site inspection and a vote of the PASA advisory council.

We also are certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) was formed in 2007 by nationally and globally recognized leaders in the animal protection field for the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries in the United States and abroad.

Coopera NGO, is also the representative in the field for other international NGO which supported the CRPL since the beginning. These are:

· Venner av Lwiro from Norway

· Rainfer, a Spanish primate rescue center from Spain

· Friends of Lwiro from Australia,

· Wildvets, Spain

We have received funds from different organizations. Without their help our work could not continue. All the animals from Lwiro Rehabilitation Center say THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT SUPPORT:

· IPPL: International Primate Protection League, USA

· AWARE Germany: Animal Wild Aid Rehabilitation and Education, Germany

· ISP: International Primatological Society, USA

· Fundacion Altarriba, Spain

· AIZA: Asociación Ibérica de Zoológicos y Acuáriums, Spain

· Kristiansand Dyre Park, Norway

· Sea World and Busch Gardens, USA

· Chester Zoo, UK

· Zoo de Barcelona, Spain

· FAADA: Fundación para la Adopción y el Apadrinamiento de los Animales no-humanos, Spain

· MONUC: United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Congo

· Fundacion MONA, Spain

· Taronga Zoo, Australia

· Rotary Dandenong Club, Australia

· JGI Spain: Jane Goodall Institut Spain

· JGI Uganda: The Jane Goodall Institute Uganda

· JGI Holland: The Jane Goodall Institute Holland

· JGI Australia: The Jane Goodall Institute Australia

· Disney, USA

· Oregon Zoo Foundation, USA

· Spanish Ministry of Environment

· Equip Vert, Spain


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rest in Peace Monuc

The CRPL management is very sad to announce the passing of Monuc. Monuc was a very beautiful female chimpanzee who was always a gentle soul. She lived in a group with other adult chimpanzees and enjoyed watching the outlook from the cage! Monuc arrived in July 2002 and was most likely born in 2001. Like all chimpanzees at the CRPL Monuc was poached from the wild – loosing her family and suffering greatly in the process. We gave her the best life we possibly could and only wish that she is in a better place now. Our veterinarians are following up results, but it seems she has passed away from an infection. We can not express our sadness at loosing Monuc – there are no words for it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pepin arrives at the CRPL!

A new baby Cercopithecus ascanius has arrived at CRPL! This little red-tailed monkey was confiscated in the Miti area in the South Kivu Provence. The confiscation was completed by the ICCN (Institut Congolaise pour la Conservation de la Nature), the Congolese Governments Authority for Conservation. He was being kept as a pet.
The little male has been called Pepin and will remain in quarentine for a one month period before being introduced to the other baby monkeys.

When Pepin arrived he was given a thorough examination by Dr. Luis Flores (Wildvets veterinarian - currently managing CRPL short term) and Dr. Masunga (our local vet incharge of animal rounds and daily medications). The examination showed that Pepin was in very bad physical condition - thin, poor hair condition and full of parasites.
Pepin is now being provided with lots of food and water and a clean environment. He has improved significantly since his arrival! We can't wait until he also has some play mates!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enrichment for the animals!

The staff at the CRPL have been giving the animals some enrichment today! Firehose with special treats inside and lots more. See the pictures below.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More work on the fences....

Work on the enclosure continues! These pictures show Michel, Vincent and their wonderful team of local men hard at work soldering the remaining brackets in place and then painting the posts. The first coat of pain (red) is a rust deterrent – we want to be sure this enclosure lasts a very long time! And the second coat of paint (green) is to blend the enclosure into the surroundings.

This is going to be a spectacular construction – especially once the chimpanzees are inside! We still have a way to go, if you would like to be a part of the project click the donate button to your left! We will bring you more updates as soon as we can!

Monday, November 8, 2010

CRPL Newsletter!

Check out our Newsletter!
Why not join our mailing list on the left, if you haven't done so already!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sad loss: Bunyakiri

At the CRPL we face many challenges; and loosing animals is always the hardest of all. Sadly, little Bunyakiri a red tailed monkey passed away a few days ago. Bunyakiri was confiscated in September of 2009, in the village of Bunyakiri by the ICCN. Since arriving at the sanctuary Bunyakiri has lived with the other infant monkeys; enjoying play, sunshine and a good diet.

For the past few weeks, Bunyakiri has had some inflammation around the throat area. However, she has continued to eat and behave as normal. After much investigation and intensive care in the last few days, she passed away in the care of the veterinarian. A final investigation showed that a grasshopper leg had been caught in her throat. All of the monkeys of CRPL enjoy eating grasshoppers; they provide both enrichment and protein in their diet. Unfortunately, Bunyakiri had trouble with one and there were no symptoms to suggest distress.

The veterinarian and staff of the CRPL strive to give the best care possible to all animals. To loose a beautiful baby monkey, who had already been through so much in her life is distressing for everyone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The building of 8 new parrot enclosures is almost finished thanks to the donations from the the World Parrot Trust of 4000 dollars. Last week all the parrots were examined and seperated into four different enclosures, according to their health status and ability to fly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CRPL accepted as the 19th PASA sanctuary!

The Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro, along with the managing partners - the ICCN, CRSN and Coopera – are so happy to announce that we have been accepted as the 19th Pan African Sanctuary Alliance sanctuary.

PASA works tirelessly to unite the primate sanctuaries of Africa and to support them in caring for thousands of great apes and monkeys which have become victims of illegal trade and activities.

After completing the application process, PASA sent a qualified inspector to Lwiro to oversee our daily routines, protocols and to discuss our future plans. After this, a detailed report was submitted by the inspector to PASA and a vote decided that we are able to become a member sanctuary.

The partners, sponsors and individuals involved in the CRPL have worked very hard to continually improve our standards and care for the animals at the sanctuary. And while we have only just joined PASA, they have helped us to reach our goals in the past in many ways. We are so grateful to PASA for their assistance in the past and for accepting us as a member sanctuary. And we look forward to working with them in the years to come!

Thank you PASA!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Big step for Sakina and Grace

Sakina and Grace have now moved in with the othere baby chimps in the nursery group! They have been there for two days and are doing well. We were a bit worried especially for Grace as he is so much smaller than the others, but it seems Sakina is the one that is most scared. Grace is a little fighter and puts the others in their place! We are confident that the two soon will be a well integrated part of the group.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parrot update

The parrots are doing well in the new enclosure. There have not been any deaths the last two days and we are very happy about that! There has been 29 dead in total.
We have employed three parrot keepers that are doing a good job keeping the enclosure clean and feeding the parrots. The ICCN has brought lots of palm nuts from the lowland, as they don't grow here, and they have also put 4 park rangers to guard the parrots. The parrots love the palm nuts so it's clear that this is something they are used to eating in the wild!

PASA and The World Parrot Trust is working toghether helping us with advise and funding, thank you so much guys, we couldn't do it without you!

Palm nuts
Parrots while cleaning, we put leaves on the ground when cleaning is finished.
The three parrot keepers
The 4 park rangers keeping guard

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So it's time to tell you all whole story about the parrots...
On Saturday afternoon at about four o'clock, we got a phone call from the ICCN that they had confiscated African grey parrots in the airport of Kavumu, which is the airport for Bukavu and is situated only 6km from Lwiro. There were 6 cages all weighing in at about 50kg!
There is a little bit of back story to this though. Last week the governor of South Kivu was here in Lwiro in a seminar in the research center. So before his arrival the chief of police in the area came to the sanctuary to check the security. The staff used the usual sensibilization program and told him about the illegal hunting and trade in animals, and that these animals are the treasures of Congo and should be looked after. He then mentioned that there was something strange going on with animals in the Kavumu airport... So he was the one calling the ICCN when he discovered the parrots. The ICCN arrived, but they might not have been able to stop the trafficker if it wasn't for the Governor that was at that moment leaving Lwiro on his way back to Bukavu. He was called and he stopped in the airport and did the confiscation himself! He has formerly worked in conservation so he knows a lot and obviously cares! The parrots came from the neighbor province of Maniema, and were destined to a pet trader in Singapore.

So at six o'clock in the evening the cars came with the six cages full of parrots. As you know we don't have a lot of space here, and all cages is occupied by chimps or monkeys, so or only solution was to put them in the education room, just to get them out of the transport crates... We had to take them out one by one, counted them in the process, and made sure they had lots of water available. They were 523 African gray parrots, but 5 were already dead.
The next morning we gave them food, and then started the process of checking everyone’s wings. To stop them flying they had tied one feather of the outer wing around a few others, some on one wing some on both, and a lucky few on none. Some wings were a mess, and these birds will have to grow new feathers to be able to fly, and on some only the one feather that was used to tie the others was destroyed.
The ICCN and the CRSN- research center, went to work on building an enclosure for them in the arches of the walkway of the center and doing a great job. And yesterday, Tuesday, we moved all the parrots to a more appropriate enclosure there, this will also be expanded.

The plan is to release all the parrots, but they need to be fit and able to fly well.
As of Wednesday morning 26 parrots are dead... We hope there won't be too many more... But we have heard that it is normal that at least 20% die.. we will see..

But thank you all for your support so far, it's been amazing!
And a special thanks to PASA for helping us a lot!

The cages arriving

The parrots in the cages

At night after removing the parrots from the cages, some went back in, but at least it was not as crowded.

Temporary housing in the education room the next day.
Checking the wings and clipping the knots
New enclosure in the walkway.

Parrots in the new enclosure