Last week, we reported on the alarming situation of primates in Lodja, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fortunately, good news has arrived: J.A.C.K. has succeeded in transferring the 23 primates confiscated by APPACOL-PRN and the Congolese environmental authorities to its sanctuary in Lubumbashi.
Thanks private donors, sponsors and partners of J.A.C.K., the transfer took place in complete safety by means of a small plane hired for the occasion. The animals were transported in special transport cages to avoid any stress or injury during the flight.
Once they arrived in Lubumbashi, all these vulnerable primates were kindly welcomed into the home of J.A.C.K.’s Founders, Franck and Roxane. The sanctuary sadly does not currently have a warm and spacious nursery area to accommodate so many orphans at once. In fact, some of the primates from Missions Lodja 3 and even Lodja 2 are still at the Founders’ home. The quarantine is already full, and the temperature is freezing in this cold season (austral winter) in the DRC. Thermometers can dip as low as 5°, which can be extremely dangerous for these orphans coming straight from our warm and humid forests.
Therefore, to protect the newcomers from the vagaries of the climate, the project to build a warm nursery is on the drawing board, but will require substantial funding.
In the meantime, the Founders of J.A.C.K are doing their utmost to offer these fragile animals a safe, warm refuge. With the support of J.A.C.K. vet and two keepers, they give them attentive care and look after their well-being day after day in different parts of their private home.
The rescued primates include:
1 chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi),
2 Golden-bellied Mangabeys (Cercocebus chrysogaster chrysogaster),
2 Agile Mangabeys (Cercocebus agilis agilis),
2 Black-crested Mangabeys (Lophocebus aterrimus aterrimus),
1 Grey-cheeked Mangabey (Lophocebus albigena johnstoni),
1 blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis ehymansi),
6 red-tailed monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius katangae),
5 other red-tailed monkeys of another subspecies (Cercopithecus ascanius Schmidti),
1 Swamp monkey (Allenopithecus nigroviridis nigroviridis),
1 Patas / Red monkey (Erythrocebus patas),
1 Denti monkey (Cercopithecus denti).
All were victims of wildlife trafficking, and were at risk of being sold on the black market or used as pets if not confiscated in time!
As soon as they arrived at the home of J.A.C.K. Founders, Franck & Roxane, all 23 monkeys were checked and given the necessary first aid. With the help of J.A.C.K. veterinarian, Dr Calvin, injured and over-infected tails underwent caudectomy (removal of part of the tail) to relieve the animals’ pain. Ticks and fleas were removed, and all primates were hydrated and weighed.
Some of them are traumatized, and we do all we can to reassure them and give them the comfort they need.
Mpo, the chimpanzee, is a special case. We think he must be around 2 years old. He was very weak and weighed only 5kg upon arrival. But thanks to the attentive care of his surrogate dad, Benito, and the whole team, he has now put on an extra kilo and his health, both physical and mental, is improving day by day.
Also, in the beginning, Mpo had motor problems and couldn’t use his left leg. Thanks to the care of his surrogate dad and Dr. Calvin, he has relearned to walk on his 4 hands and is making great progress.
At last, the wounds on his nose have healed and he can now breathe normally, as the shock to his nostrils and the healing of the wound had prevented him from breathing properly.
Some of the rescued primates are very young. These fragile creatures have been torn from their mothers and are now vulnerable. They need much more attention and care to survive. Their diet is crucial to their development. In general, babies need plenty of mother’s milk to grow and develop properly. But since they no longer have a mother, it’s essential that their diet is also balanced, with vegetables and fruit, and that they receive a suitable milk substitute.
We would like to thank our keepers, Benito and Victor, as well as our veterinarian and our Founders, for doing their utmost to provide all these residents with a safe and loving environment where they can flourish and grow in complete security.
Also, our heartfelt thanks also to all those who contributed to this rescue mission and transfer: HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, PRO WILDLIFE, COLUMBUS ZOO & AQUARIUM, OLSEN ANIMAL TRUST, Susana, Kitty and other private donors.
Despite the difficulties they encountered so early in their lives, we hope these primates will grow up as they should. We are convinced that these beings will surprise us with their resilience and inner strength.
J.A.C.K. is determined to be the voice of the voiceless!!!
Thank YOU for THEM!