Yes, dear Friends, as most of you know already, a few weeks ago we had a vet flying over from South Africa, Dr Bruce PECK, to sedate all the chimps and to do some health checks. J.A.C.K. has become a member of the PASA family and it was suggested all the chimpanzees residing at our sanctuary would be checked from top to toe.
This was for the J.A.C.K. team of course a huge event and each of us was very excited to meet Bruce and to help him work on the chimps. Our volunteer vet, Dr. Jean Claude BINEMO, and his assistant, Dr. Francis, participated as it was also a training session to them.
When Bruce arrived, we had only two days to sedate 37 chimps! Franck and I thought it would be too short. But the first day and in less than 8 hours Bruce sedated the main group (23 chimps). The next day it was the nursery group (14 infants) which was checked in about 4 hours…
These checks were a real marathon and looked more like people of a factory doing some assembly-line work: each of us was a link of the chain and we had to carry out what we had been asked for:
– Vet Jean Claude darted the chimps
– caregivers Augustin and Christian weighed the sedated chimp,
– Vets Bruce & Jean Claude, assistant Francis, volunteer Bruno and myself did the general check up of the chimps,
==> blood was taken
== >chimps were TB -tested on both eye lids and on their tummy
==> sick/broken teeth were pulled out
– after being reversed, the chimp was transferred to the recovery room monitored by Franck, Maman Angeline and Papa Ilunga. The big ones woke up in their facilities
while Franck kept an eye on the recovery of the very young ones like Ekolo and Nalia.
As for the first results of these health checks, we can already say that the chimpanzees are all negative to the TB-tests and that a few of them show signs of slight anemia. Vitamines are on the agenda at the moment, so, generally speaking, the chimps residing at J.A.C.K. are healthy!
These health checks have been a very interesting experience and have been beneficial for the chimps staying at our sanctuary.
Before I end, J.A.C.K. and its residents really wish to thank the following people without whom this particular event wouldn’t have taken place:
* the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance which sponsored the health checks and sent a vet to J.A.C.K.;
* Dr Bruce PECK who agreed to come to Lubumbashi despite his heavy schedule;
* Vet Jean Claude and his assistant Francis for their participation to the checks;
* J.A.C.K. friend Bruno for his commitment to our Cause
* and the team of J.A.C.K. for its love and wish to help these orphans.
Also, J.A.C.K. wishes to thank a friend with a great heart: Dr Christelle COLIN who helped the PASA in organising these health checks and who has precious veterinary advice and tips!