Saturday, May 19, 2012

Biega, Chantal, Kitoko and Sergine join the forest group!

Sergine enjoying some lunch

Today Biega, Chantal, Kitoko and Sergine were released into their new forest home. There are now 23 chimpanzees in the forest!

Of all of the chimpanzees in the forest so far, these four adult females are the ones who have spent the most time away from a forest environment. Having been removed from the forest as babies by poachers, they were confiscated by the government and arrived in Lwiro. The facilities were quickly full and they found themselves in a small concrete cage. The government and CRPL team have been fighting to get them out of this enclosure – and we have now succeeded.

As you can imagine, it is very scary to be outside in such a large space after such a long time, and to also be confronted with new chimpanzees as well.  Their caregivers were inside with them though, so this was a comfort. They did well on this first day – however they walked around a lot and never quite relaxed, which is to be expected. In the days to follow they will become settled in this new home.

Thankfully, all of the chimpanzees got on well on this first day. Kitoko and Chantal spent some time with the rest of the group, while Biega and Sergine had enough to do with contemplating the huge space available to them now!

We will keep you updated about their development, but are happy with their progress on this first day.  

 Bolungwa, Julius and Maiko
 Chantal exploring
 Let's all go for a walk!!!
 Relaxing together
 Julius, Kitoto and Chantal
Uvira and Kanabiro

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