On the 3th of May 2012 the Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro’s Chimpanzee Habitat for Conservation and Education was first opened to its new residents! This has been 5 years of hard work from so many people and organizations that it is impossible to name everybody! Please go through past blogs to see all the wonderful organizations that have made grants to the CRPL to make this dream a reality – and for all those who made private donations or helped on the ground – you know who you are!
AN ENORMOUS THANK-YOU GOES OUT TO EVERYONE INVOLVED! We would also like to specifically thank the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature and the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles our two government partners for making this such a positive experience with so much support and for supplying the forest for the chimpanzees! And to our other Management Advisory Group Members Coopera, Venner av Lwiro and Friends of Lwiro
– this could not have been possible without your ongoing support. More
individual thanks will follow – please watch the blog! Australia
The first chimpanzees to try out the new facility were 7 of the oldest from the infant cage – now ranging in age from 4-6 years old! Fizi, Maiko, Monique, Uvira, Ituri, Misisi and Julius were transported in cages, 2 by 2 to the new forest! Some were a little nervous, but had familiar faces with them the whole time. They spent this first day in the dormitory to acclimatize and wind down after such a huge event. They took it in their stride and spent a happy day exploring this new area.
The next day, it was time to see what all the fuss was about! The doors were opened and their caregivers joined the 7 chimpanzees in the forest! They all went into the forest quickly and started exploring immediately. Misisi and Monique were very brave and independent and went walking on their own at times! While Ituri elected to have a caregiver carry her much of the time!
Exiting the dormitory - Fizi looking deep in thought!
A great deal of the forest was explored on day one – and a guava tree was the biggest hit of all, with all 7 climbing up and having their fill! They also ate many other plants in the forest which are perfectly safe for them.
After a HUGE day both chimpanzees and people in Lwiro are very tired, but extremely happy! These 7 will settle in to their new home before more moves continue. We will keep you all updated on their progress and also the future moves!
Again, we want to express our gratitude to all who supported this project! We could not have done it without an enormous group of supporters!