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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sakina and Grace

Sakina and Grace are doing very well! Sakina is playing all day long, Grace is a bit more careful, but also plays a lot. But he does think his new big sister is a bit too big and playing a bit rough sometimes. They've both had a bit of a cold this week, but not very bad.



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thank you Diane!

We would like to say a big thank you to our friend Diane, who in the event of her 60th birthday in August, fundraised 1469$! She asked friends for donations instead of presents, and she also had a marked stall where she sold items and raffle tickets. What a great initiativ, and we are so grateful! We would like to thank all the people who supported Diane, and a special thanks to
Jenna & Jon K --- Phyllis C -- Lory L --- Fran K ---- Pauline T --- Chrissa O

Maiko and all the others in Lwiro says a big thank you! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunny morning in Lwiro!

Yongesa- gomagroup
Alsace- gomagroup
Gari -gomagroup
Kadutu- Malboucks vervet monkey
Baboons-Bavo grooming Brandi
David- red-tailed monkey
Lume - Kongos group
Flora- Kongos group
Sherif - big boss
Bolungwa- gomagroup
Vero, newcomer l'hoest monkey
Nice view to the mountains of Kahuzi Biega nationalpark
Clara- Kongos group
Irangi- gomagroup
Keeper Jean Paul with Django- gomagroup
Katana and Lulingu- blue monkeys

The rainy season has started, which belive it or not means more sun and clearer days! In the dry season there is always a sort of mist in the air, so never clear blue skies or a nice view. But last night it rained a lot, and the air this morning is really clear and the sky is blue! All the animals and the people is enjoying the sunshine!