Time is flying by in quarantine and Tombo and Urgent have almost finished their 3 month separation from other chimps, Mac has been moved into a bigger cage and Salva is making an amazing recovery from his horrific wounds.
Due to his small size Mac has been living in a smaller cage while building up his health and strength. Last week it was time for him to move into one of the standard quarantine enclosures so that he can really start to climb around and develop some muscles. He’s really enjoying the extra space but he’s still very much Mama Posseh’s little chimp – here you can see him seeking her reassurance as Frankie got too close for his comfort while taking photos for the blog.
Salva was sedated last week so that we could check his progress. Though he’s eating well and calling to the other chimps, his terrible previous experience of human treatment means that he’s still very nervous of people. Compared to how he first looked on arrival the photos below show you how much he’s recovered, we’re really pleased with his progress.
We’ll soon be moving Urgent to the same group of night dens that Gorilla, Jetti and Solo occupy. She’ll have her own space but this will give her the chance to gradually get used to chimp company after having no other chimp contact for over 10 years! We’re really not sure how she will react but we know it’s going to take longer to integrate her into a group than for Marion.
Gaura suffered from a small stomach upset last week but he is almost fully recovered. Very soon Tombo and Gaura will share one of the quarantine cages together as she reaches the end of her isolation period. Sadly they will have to stay in the quarantine area until we can raise the funds for the new enclosures as the infant enclosure is already too full. Julianna and Posseh will make sure that they go out every day for exercise and it’ll be great for them to have each other’s company too.
For all chimpanzees, protecting their habitats is key and critical to the eventual release of Tacugama’s residents. It was depressing to see this week that even on our doorstep in the forest reserve, wood cutting continues. We discovered this concealed bundle at the edge of the track leading to the sanctuary. Tommy, one of our forest guards, spotted the wood and so it was confiscated. Although it looks insignificant, dozens of these bundles – young saplings – are being removed every day to supply the demands of construction around Freetown. The Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve reserve is estimated to have lost 25% of its tree cover since 2000, a sobering thought.