Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A friend for Mbandaka

On the 20th July, exactly one month after the arrival of Mbandaka, the CRPL received their 3rd chimpanzee confiscation for 2012.  A female named “Beni” arrived at CRPL having been confiscated by the ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) in the town of Beni from a family that had kept her as a pet for 2 years.  We estimate Beni as being just over 2 years of age, meaning that she must have been taken from the wild at a very young age, her mother and family probably killed for bushmeat. 
The CRPL had assistance from UN-GRASP (United Nations Great Apes Survival Partnership) who worked in conjunction with local MONUSCO peacekeeping forces in the DRC and provided transport from Beni to the nearby airport on a scheduled UN helicopter flight.  The CRPL also had assistance from ZSL researchers working in Beni who helped with logistics.  This fantastic effort between UN-GRASP, ICCN, ZSL and CRPL shows how the collaboration of many organisations can work together in the fight against the illegal wildlife trades in the DRC.
Beni has settled in well to life here at CRPL with Mbandaka.  They spend the day playing together; they comfort each other and have formed a strong relationship.  Hopefully they will be able to join the rest of the nursery group in the not too distant future.



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