The Problem
 
The Solution
 
The Future
The Problem
 
The Solution
 
The Future
         

COCO IS BLOWING 11 CANDLES TODAY! We rescued him in 2008: he was the pet of high ranking authorities and it took us two years to have him in a group at the sanctuary… Today, Coco is among the “big boys” we take care of at the sanctuary!!

HELLO FROM COCO, one of our 15-year-old males. COCO arrived in 2008 in a very bad mental and physical condition. In two days, on April the 10th, he will blow his 11th Anniversary candle at J.A.C.K – will you wish him a happy Anniversary???

BACK TO OUR DRC REALITY AFTER AN ENRICHICHING EXPERIENCE IN CAMEROON : no water for the last 48h!

I spent the whole morning “begging” for some water to clean our chimps’ night rooms. The most difficult was to find drinking water to cook and to prepare our residents’ milk and tea… Many thanks to my dad and Marie-Paule for their precious support!!

JAK, it’s been 13 long years now we rescued you and that you changed our lives completely… Today you are no longer with us but your memory and your name make us keep our fight in rescuing your species… The moments we spent together will remain forever in our hearts. We miss you so badly…

J.A.C.K is currently attending the PASA 2019 vet workshop in Yaoundé (Cameroon). Great meetings and wonderful moments spent with our colleagues of the other sanctuaries. Thank you all!

J.A.C.K. started 13 years ago and the rescued baby chimpanzee orphans we rescued then have now turnt into strong and nearly adult chimpanzees. Since our sanctuary is located in the town of Lubumbashi, one of our priorities is to keep our complex secure and to keep the people living in the neighbourhood safe. Even if all our residents grew up close to humans,we will never know what their attitude will be in case they escape…

This is why last year the BRIGITTE BARDOT FOUNDATION accepted to start new developments in order to enforce the security of the open air enclosure of our main group (sub-adults).

 

Huge metallic “shields” have thus been bent and fixed on top of the walls surrounding the playground. It is Mrs Itsaso Velez del Burgo, from Lwiro (Bukavu), who showed us how to curve the metallic plates. J.A.C.K.’s welder built the curving machine and long weeks of hard work were awaiting him since welding, curving and fixing these heavy “shields” took a lot of time and energy!

Thanks to the priceless support of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, J.A.C.K. managed to enforce the security of the enclosure of the group of sub-adult chimpanzees and also part of the playground of the Nursery group II.

These huge “shields” are a wonderful way to secure facilities and we all at J.A.C.K. feel extremely grateful to the Foundation for this wonderful support!

Of course, it would be better if our residents could be in the forest already, but since this point has not been clarified yet, we do the best we can to keep them healthy and safe.

Many thanks again to Mrs Elodie of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, to her team and donors for their trust, their help and for their wish to provide our hairy family with the best care!

 

The recent weeks have been quite hectic regarding climate. We have never seen such heavy rains and winds have never blown that much!! Roofs were blown away. Trees fell at several places of the town thus breaking houses and walls….

As a result, at J.A.C.K. , the main wall separating our sanctuary from a main city road collapsed and about 60m of the same wall were near to collapse soon as well. Therefore, the wall  had to be rebuilt at the soonest for security reasons since the broken wall was on open gate to any unwanted guests!!

J.A.C.K. has had the chance to have an emergency support from the PAN AFRICAN SANCTUARY ALLIANCE (PASA) to repair the wall very quickly. It was election times. You could feel tensions everywhere and people were afraid of total chaos…

Thanks to the PASA, construction could take place immediately to keep our chimpanzee friends safe from harm. The broken wall was located 51 m from their facilities only…

Unfortunately, later on, we had more wind and rains… This time, a tree fell on the same wall we had just restored …

We tried to remain very positive as, in our bad luck, we have been extremely lucky no people and no chimpanzees got hurt!

Also, during these tough times, we really appreciated the presence of the two armed Rangers who stood close to the broken walls and patrolled day and night! Thanks to the wonderful support of the INTERNATIONAL PRIMATE PROTECTION LEAGUE (IPPL), and since 2013, J.A.C.K. has had two ICCN Rangers (DRC wildlife authority) to keep the sanctuary and its residents free from danger!

Many, many thanks again to PASA and to  IPPL for their trust and valuable support! Your help made us feel less lonely in these gloomy days!!!

 

Last Thursday was a very important day for our young chimpanzee since the two veterinarians qualifid in eye surgery had arrived from Johannesburg to check and operate his left eye.
In a few words and before I start, know that all went well!
Thursday morning, Doguy was sedated and transfered to a clinic. Our sanctuary has a brand new clinic but it isn’t equiped yet and we didn’t have the needed sedation machine (gas anaesthesia)  usually used for long surgeries. So, J.A.C.K. had to rent the theater of another veterinary clinic for this particular occasion.
The two South African surgeons carried out different tests on Doguy’s eye and found out it wasn’t suffering of cataract but that it had an issue on the cornea. Doguy has had an ulcer on this part of the eye which has slowly healed leaving a lesion onto the cornea. Some calcium has started to cover the lesion providing the eye with a very small whitish spot. This lesion has no impact at all on Doguy’s sight but to be sure the two eye specialists connected the chimpanzee to their computer via 3 electrodes to check the qualiy of the retina. And, apparently, the retina is working perfectly well and Doguy has an excellent sight!
Then came the decision to do the surgery or not. This calcium cloud on Doguy’s eye can be removed by getting rid of the first layer of the cornea. The two surgeons said it wasn’t a very complex surgery but that it could have very serious consequences. A chimpanzee remains a chimpanzee and to tell Doguy not to touch his eye is impossible! So, considering the fact Doguy so far has a good sight, the two doctors decided not to operate because of all the post-operative care. The chimpanzee could make the healing worse by touching the wound with dirty hands. Or, if we don’t have the appropriate medication or if the treatment isn’t done in a good way (it is okay for us to touch Doguy’s eye but sometimes Doguy isn’t that cooperative!), infection might start and lead to blindness of the remaining eye…
In addition to the corneal problem, it was discovered our young male produces tears of bad quality. A tear is made of some water, mucus and lipids. Doguy’s tears don’t lubricate  his eye enough which could cause irritation and pain especially when the sun is shining too much and when the air is dry and dusty. J.A.C.K. now must find the adequate medication to face this inconvenience as dry season is coming soon (April)!
So, during this particular event, Doguy got sedated, checked and not operated! The two specialists have asked us to follow the white spot on Doguy’s eye: if it gets bigger and whiter and if there is some eye discharge, then some surgery will be needed…
Dear Friends of Doguy, these are the latest updates on Doguy who is now already back in his group. Although surgery didn’t take place, it was an excellent opportunity to have the two surgeons at J.A.C.K. as today we know exactly what is going on with Doguy’s remaining eye! We are so relieved  his sight is very good and that this white spot isn’t painful at all! I was very afraid of the diagnosis. So many things are missing here …
On this very particular event, J.A.C.K. had the chance to be surrounded by a great team  of Friends and Vets who we all thank for being so helpful!. From the right to the left: Dr Keri-Lee (eye surgeon), Dr Jackie (vet and great friend of J.A.C.K.invited to attend the occasion!), behind her Dr Izak (eye surgeon), Dr Christian (J.A.C.K. veterinarian), Dr Jean Claude (J.A.C.K. volunteer veterinarian), Dr Noella (assistant of Dr Jean Claude), Dr Rebeca (ophtalmologist and friend who has taken care of Doguy’s eye since 2017) and on my right side another assistant of Dr Jean Claude. Vet assistant Ben is making the picture!

 

Doguy, the team of J.A.C.K., Franck and myself do thank all the great donors and sponsors who took part in the different fundraisings in Europe and the US to help Doguy.

Also, we thank from the deepest of our heart Mr Manoël and the Hôtel Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia for having kindly sponsored the accomodation of our guests.

Many, many, many thanks to Mr Josh and his team of  Katanga Contracting Services (KCS) as they covered the journey and most of the stay of the two eye surgeons. Organising this event has been a real challenge and, therefore, any support has been more than welcome!!

Thanks a lot to the great Friends of J.A.C.K. who managed to find the qualified veterinarians ready to come to the DRC: Gregg, Kaitlyyn, Belinda, Neil and their precious friends.

Franck and I thank Dr Rebeca as well as our dear team of keepers who have been with Doguy for so many years, who have provided him with the best care and who were next to him on this very special D-Day!

Again, we wish to thank our two wonderful guests, Doctors Izak and Keri-Lee, for their passion, time and experience as well as for their wish to help Doguy today and in the future!

And thanks again so much to All of You who made this event possible for our young friend Doguy! It is obvious J.A.C.K. wouldn’t have been able to organise all this without YOU! And it is very clear that, without YOU, we would still be extremely anxious about the health of Doguy’s remaining eye! Doguy is very lucky to have YOU! Thank YOU all again so much for HIM!

 

Young male Doguy is the one-eyed chimpanzee we talked a lot about last September during Great Apes Giving Day.

Doguy’s remaining eye is sick and funds have been raised to operate it. This is how two Southafrican eye surgeons accepted to fly over to help Doguy.

The surgery was planned end of November but had to be postponed as one of the veterinarians didn’t get the DRC Visa! Also, Doguy was sick at that time (fever) and wouldn’t have been strong enough to undergo any sedation/operation…

Therefore, it was decided Doguy would be operated end of February after DRC’s presidential elections.

The good news of today is that the two surgeons have just arrived in Lubumbashi and that they plan to work on Doguy’s eye tomorrow, Thursday the 21st! They paid a visit to Doguy this afternoon already!

Please, keep Doguy in your prayers for the next coming days – he really needs all you Love!

I will keep you updated!

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