Thursday, June 21, 2012

New arrival- Mbandaka

Yesterday we received a newly confiscated chimpanzee female named Mbandaka.  She was confiscated from poachers on the other side of the DRC in the province of Mbandaka, near the capital Kinshasa. She was initially monitored by Lola ya Bonobo, the only Bonobo sanctuary in the world, located in Kinshasa, who worked hard to secure her transfer to the CRPL.

Travelling over 3000km and taking 3 days, Mbandaka was brought to the CRPL by the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN).  The ICCN did amazing work in this fight against the illegal pet trade and had coordinated her transfer using 3 modes of transport; plane, boat and car.  Mbandaka was brought into the quarantine cage at the CRPL and taken from her crate and into the care of a keeper. She was provided with food, which she accepted readily, eating some pineapple, banana, mango and onion straight away, as well as plenty of maternal contact, which she had been missing since taken from her mother by poachers.

Estimated at approximately 2 years of age, she will be provided 24 hour care by keepers and staff at CRPL.  Already, her personality is showing, a determined character that knows exactly what she wants!  She will spend one month in quarantine before the possibility of being introduced to other infant chimpanzees.  However, with other illegal infant chimpanzees known to authorities and the CRPL, it will not be long before we see more arrivals to join Mbandaka in her new life at the sanctuary of the CRPL.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tools for the forest campaign!

Over the month of June we are running a “Tools for the Forest” campaign.  With our new forest enclosure full of chimpanzees the keepers will need some tools to take care of the enclosure and dormitory.  Money donated this month towards running costs will be used to purchase shovels, rakes, machetes, scrubbing brushes, a wheelbarrow and materials to build a tool rack. Donate in June to help us with this and you will receive a nice photo of Shege, one of the chimps that just moved into the new enclosure! Shege is a gentel and funny adult female, everyone that meets her fall in love! She is absolutely loving the forest :) Thank you for your support :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Donations on the blog!

We want to thank everyone that has donated on the blog and facebook for the last three months!

In March we got 60$, a big thank you to Ryan K and Brenton H for supporting us!!!

In April we got 45$, a big thank you to Brenton H and Alison B for your support!!!

And May was a fantastic month for donations! Which matches the fantastic month it has been for the chimps:) We got 720$!! This is a huge help, as all the changes this month also has meant more money spent. A big thank you to; Linda V, Linda H, Iris W, Daniel H, Frances M, Heidi Q, Marcia D and Tracey B!

A big thank you from Maiko for all your support :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

The big boys join the forest group!

On Saturday finally the last chimpanzees joined the forest group. These are 4 adult males Kongo and his three friends Lume, Goma and Lubutu. Kongo is a big, playfull and gentel chimpanzee and was the leader of his group of 7 chimps. We are now hoping he will take over the leadership of the forest group. So far it's looking good, he is playing with the small ones and hanging out with the rest of the group a lot. But at the same time it's all quite scary for him, so it will take time for him to adjust and take control. Lume, Goma and Lubutu have been even more scared than Kongo of their new environment and all the new chimpanzees! But we hope and think they will adjust with time. All the moves are finished and there is 35 chimpanzees in the forest! Now it's time for the group to settle down, and hopefully build lots of new friendships! We will keep you updated on their progress! Thank you for all your support in this exiting time for Lwiro, we are all so happy and it has truely been the best month in CRPLs history :)

Kongo followed by Goma

Kongo exploring

Kongo tickeling Fizi




Lubutu hugging old friend Flora

Kongo with the others

Kongo saying hello to Uvira

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kalume where he belongs!

Papa JJ with Kalume not long after his arrival at CRPL

Kalume was one of the very first chimpanzees to arrive at the CRPL – he is the reason this sanctuary was conceived by the government authorities! Arriving very small and very scared he also had horrific injuries inflicted by poachers with a machete. Most of the damage was done to his mouth, meaning that as he healed his mouth closed up, leaving only a small opening. His teeth and jaw were also damaged in the attack. Kalume underwent many operations over the years to repair what was possible. He became big and strong and went on to be the dominant male in a group of chimpanzees at the sanctuary. However, a few years ago disaster struck again when Kalume stoped walking and became very weak. Having little access to diagnostic tools in remote DRC, the CRPL staff did what they could for him. He needed to be removed from his group and had hands on care. The dream of all of those who have cared for Kalume is to see him once again with other chimpanzees, back where he belongs!

Kalume still displays some disabilities; however he is strong and confident. We decided to give him a go in the forest! He spent a few days in the dormitory, refusing to go out. So we bought some of the females to him! Lots of grooming occurred and everyone was calm. And today, Kalume decided it was time to head out into the forest and see what all the fuss was about! It went really well. Irangi made sure Kalume knew he was in charge and when Kalume did not challenge him, they began grooming. They day was a huge success and was an emotional day for everyone involved.

 Kalume today - his first day in a forest since being take by poachers
 Beautiful Kalume making friends

 Kalume and Irangi (front)
Kalume starting a new life!