Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thank you!

We would like to thank PAAW for their donation of $1000! This money will go toward the forest enclosure. Every donation goes such a long way here, and your support is so appreciated!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nests galore!!!

While all of the staff were working very hard to get the day going, the Goma Group thought they would relax a little while longer and try to beat off the morning chill by making nests. It seemed that everywhere I turned; a nest was being made or enjoyed. It also seemed that everywhere I turned a nest was being stolen!!! They were having such a great time that I had to share it on the blog!



Kanabiro and Felixta!


Good morning Lwiro!!!

I took my camera out first thing this morning to capture the day as it began. Every day is a busy day, but the mornings are always the most demanding. The food preparation team must pick out, weigh and wash all of the items for the day and there is a lot of food to be cooked. They then need to start sorting the food into groups for the day ahead. The monkey and chimpanzee keepers must move animals around so that they can successfully feed and clean all of the cages. They have to do all of this while the animals are demanding food…NOW!!!
Salamavilla (right) and Wima (left) demanding food from Claude the keeper!
Lume demanding breakfast...soon Lume!!!
Bahati and Christoff washing and sorting the food!
Mama Irene and Mama Bea chatting about the day ahead. Mama Bea sitting, cooking food for the animals!

Kaleshe cleaning out the Goma Group dormitory!

Kahole cleaning Shumi, the baboons cage!

Doublago our farmer planting some onions first thing in the morning!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Julius, Fizi, Mangay, Uvira, Monique, Loia, Lulinga, Aketi and Butembo
(Misisi, Maiko and Ituri in Hammoks)

The rainy season is upon us at this moment in Lwiro. This means there is a lot of heavy rain and it is often very cold. Usually it rains at night, but sometimes we get heavy downpours during the day as well. Yesterday was one of those days. When it rains the babies become very quiet and seek comfort from each other (as they would from their mothers in the forest). Here is a lovely picture taken during the storm of the baby cage. You can see that nine of the babes were huddled up together, while three were feeling more independent and sitting in the hammocks above. Once the rain stops it doesn’t take the babies long to start running around again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Hilton (left) and La Roche

Hilton, the 4 year old Mangabey who arrived from the illegal sanctuary in Goma has been introduced to another male Mangabey called La Roche. They are getting on very well and enjoying each other’s company. La Roche has become very protective of his new friend. Hilton is still very thin, but is improving on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the facilities are very limited at the sanctuary. We would love to build a new monkey cage soon, but we are yet to find enough funds for this project. If you would like to help us get Hilton and his new friend into a bigger cage please donate via this blog. 100% of the funds donated come straight to us at the sanctuary.


Papa Kaleshe has been working in the cage with the Goma Group (juveniles) for about 2 years now. It was his job to maintain control of the animals, clean up after them and provide them with the support of a ‘mother chimpanzee’. The time has come where some of the males are starting to challenge him on occasion, although they still go to him for support often. Therefore, we decided it was in the best interest of Kalshe and the chimpanzees to remove him from the cage. Kaleshe and the other keepers still enter the cage during the day to do a quick cleaning job, but for the most part the chimpanzees are on their own. This is a great opportunity for the chimpanzees to develop their own dominance structure and to prepare for entering the forest. They are all doing very well and we feel it is an important step in the right direction.


Our keepers are very good at their job and they regularly check over each animal to assess them for health issues. Last week one of our keepers discovered that Bolungwa is already changing her teeth. This means that she is around 5 years old. We are all very surprised as she is very small. Just as we were surprised 6 months ago when Yonguesa changed her teeth, however, we were surprised for the opposite reason. Yonguesa is huge-and you would assume she is older than 5 years by her size and her dominance over the other chimpanzees! Of course, like with people the teeth rule is not absolute, but it is a good guide for us as we have to try to estimate the age of the individuals. Also, chimpanzees from different areas can differ greatly in size. Bolungwa is a very sweet little chimpanzee and although she is quiet within the group she has a very big personality.