Recently, Tchimpounga staff members welcomed a new arrival: a baby girl named Anzac. She was named Anzac because she came to the sanctuary on ANZAC Day (April 25, 2012), and because, like many war veterans, she sadly has lost an arm.
When she arrived, Anzac was so small that the vet team had to weigh her using a food scale. She weighed a mere 2.7 kilograms, making her one of the smallest chimps to arrive at the sanctuary. The staff at Tchimpounga is dedicated to making sure that Anzac is getting the care and attention she needs to grow into a healthy young chimpanzee.
Meet Lemba, A Very Special Chimpanzee
Lemba’s legs don’t work anymore because of the effects of polio, a disease that she is being treated for at Tchimpounga. Lemba is growing rapidly and will be very large and heavy in a few months, making it even more difficult for her to get around. For this reason, Tchimpounga caregivers are getting Lemba used to being carried in a wheelbarrow. Lemba is also being trained to act as a future surrogate mother for infant chimpanzees at the sanctuary.
Lemba can be mischievous, and likes to play with her caregiver's shoes. The caregivers at Tchimpounga are very patient and allow the small chimpanzee to nip, hit, and hide their sandals. Occasionally, Lemba puts her hands inside her caregivers' shoes as if they were gloves and slides around on the grass in the sanctuary garden!
Lemba is an amazing chimpanzee. Despite her physical limitations, Lemba performs exercises every day during the games Tchimpounga's caregivers have created for her. The games help restore her agility and arm strength. We can learn so much from Lemba!
In January, the first confiscated chimpanzee of the year arrived at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. The chimpanzee was confiscated by authorities in northern Congo and lived with the local chief of police for a month before being transferred to Brazzaville Zoo. Staff at the Aspinall Foundation, an organization that works on gorilla conservation in the Congo, collected and cared for the chimp until he was able to be flown to Pointe Noire, where our team at Tchimpounga took over the permanent care of the little fellow.
We named him Antonio-“A” because he was the first confiscation of the year. We pray that he will be the last.
Tchimpounga's veterinary team immediately conducted a thorough exam of Antonio. He weighed in at five kilograms and was estimated to be one year old. The vets discovered that Antonio had parasites, which are very common when young chimps undergo stress and trauma. Antonio will be treated and tested regularly for the next three months while he is in quarantine.
Antonio’s new mom is Simone, one of our experienced caregivers. Simone will see Antonio through his first three months at the sanctuary. After that time, Antonio will start spending more time integrating with other chimps of the same age and size. He will most likely join Lemba’s little group, which also includes Mbebo and Alex.
At Tchimpounga, Antonio will have a second chance at life and hopefully return to his native forest one day.
This week, caregivers at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo introduced the infant chimpanzee group to the world of art. The fruits of their enrichment activity: unique paintings for JGI-USA’s fall online benefit auction on Chairtybuzz, which is currently underway unitl November 9th.
The staff’s attempt to get each chimp’s footprints on paper was quickly replaced with reckless abandon as the chimps grabbed paint, brushes, bowls, paper and sponges and did what they pleased with them…as usual!
Alex, the newest arrival at the sanctuary, and wonderful Lemba, who is recovering from polio, were the only chimps who would cooperate with footprints. The others simply had a paint party and created all kinds of havoc on paper and on everything and everyone else nearby.
Here are a few pictures of recent events at Tchimpounga.
First, one of our new arrivals gets washed down. When chimps first come to Tchimpounga, many of them are malnourished and have infections. Getting them hydrated and clean is the first step to their second chance.
Second is Makasi and Lobo. Their story was featured in last winter's update. As you can see, they are still the best of friends.
Lastly, is a photo of our youngest resident at Tchimpounga. Though the females at Tchimpounga are on a form of birth control, one of them surprised the staff by giving birth to this little guy sometime ago. Now you can see this little fellow catching a ride on his mom's back everywhere.
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