Neighbor Ape

Our organization strives to conserve the habitat of wild chimpanzees in southeastern Senegal, to protect the chimpanzees themselves, and to provide for the wellbeing of the Senegalese people who have traditionally lived in the area alongside these chimpanzees. Our goal is to promote sustainable conservation practices that take into account the needs of local humans, in part by providing assistance to the people of the various local villages in the region.
Jul 8, 2013

Education and Chimpanzee Conservation in Senegal

Orphan chimp Toto take a trip to the "wild"
Orphan chimp Toto take a trip to the "wild"

The school year is winding down in Senegal, and all of our sponsored students did great! Katherine & Natalie are going to continue high school in Tambacounda, and Allamouta has 3 years left in high school in Kedougou.  Alex and Nadej are continuing elementary and middle school in Kedougou, respectively.  The big news is that Anna has finished her nursing degree! We wish her the best of luck in the future and will keep you updated on her career!

The dormitory we are helping build in Kedougou in conjunction with the OBRAR organization is moving along and should be ready for the next school year.  There are more Beudick children interested in attending than ever before.  One of the sleeping quarters is built, and the well is functional while lavatory facilities are underway.  Ultimately, there will be a boys' and a girl's sleeping quarters, sleeping quarters for the house mother or guardian, a kitchen/dining hall, and lavatory facilities in addition to a well.  

In chimpanzee news, orphan Toto is doing well and well ahead of his peers in terms of size! He is adept at climbing as well as walking, though a chimp his age wouldn't be walking as much as he does. He visited "the bush" just this morning and had a wonderful time - so much so that he took a 45-minute nap after lunch.  

We continue to fund eco-rangers at the sites of Angafou, Lande and Bandafassi. The mineral mining industry is currently the biggest threat to chimpanzees in Senegal both on a corporate and an artisanal scale. We are hoping to work with miners to ensure that the biodiversity of Senegal continues to thrive and to protect the relatively few chimpanzees that live in this northernmost country of the chimpanzee range. 

Nursing student Anna (2nd from L) & N.A. folks!
Nursing student Anna (2nd from L) & N.A. folks!

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Apr 8, 2013

Neighbor Ape updates: Orphan chimpanzee Toto

Orphan chimp Toto & researcher Michel Sadiakho
Orphan chimp Toto & researcher Michel Sadiakho

Neighbor Ape continues to support a number of schoolchildren at various levels of their education in Senegal.  Anna is finishing up her final year of nursing school! Katherine and Natalie are continuing their studies in Tambacounda, and Katherine is already thinking about attending university in Dakar upon graduation.  Allamoutah is completing high school in Kedougou, while Alex and Nadej are supported in grade school in Kedougou.

We are also helping support Fongoli orphan chimpanzee Toto, in conjunction with Janis Carter (of Baboon Islands Chimpanzee Sanctuary in The Gambia) and the West African Chimpanzee Foundation.  Toto needs constant care, so we help fund 2 full-time caretakers, in addition to helping supply diapers, food and other supplies.  

Toto began visiting the savanna-woodland over one month ago, and he has made great progress in climbing especially!  He is large for his age, which is not surprising since captive apes mature more rapidly than wild ones.  Toto will need to be cared for until he is almost 2 years of age, at which time we will decide which option is best for him.  Potential options include introducing Toto back to his natal group (the Fongoli chimpanzee community), introducing Toto to a sanctuary in West Africa, or establishing a sanctuary or similar facility for Toto and a number of other captive chimpanzees in Senegal.  

In conjunction with the West African Chimpanzee Foundation, we plan on assisting Janis Carter in making Toto's story available to people in Senegal as part of an educational program that informs Senegalese people of the value of the chimpanzees living in their country, and that portrays Senegal's chimpanzees as a national treasure for this country.

Toto at Fongoli camp
Toto at Fongoli camp

Links:

Jan 3, 2013

Education & Chimpanzee Conservation Update

Toto
Toto's arrival in camp

We continue to fund children of various ages, ranging from elementary school to high school, in the regional towns of Kedougou and Tambacounda this year, but in this report Neighbor Ape will spotlight our oldest student.  Anna Boubane is of Bassari background and grew up in rural Kedougou in southeastern Senegal.  Anna completed high school in Kedougou with the help of Neighbor Ape.  In Senegal, more and more young girls are given the opportunity of attending school, although completing high school is a significant achievement! Anna moved on to the capitol of Senegal, Dakar, to attend nursing school.  She is completing her schooling this year, with the support of Neighbor Ape.  Her program consists of a rigorous 3-year program, which is also relatively expensive given the laboratory supplies that students must purchase in addition to uniforms and textbooks.  We are very excited that Anna is so close to achieving her goal, and both she and Neighbor Ape hope she can return to rural southeastern Senegal to put her skills to good use.  Healthcare is relatively expensive as well as difficult to access in southeastern Senegal, and Neighbor Ape has also just embarked upon a new initiative to help assist villagers in this regard (look for a separate report!). 

In chimpanzee conservation news, we have embarked upon a new project following the tragic death of Fongoli chimpanzee Tia. Tia apparently died of a snakebite, leaving her 2-month old son Toto and her 5-year old daughter Aimee, orphans.  We had previously rescued Aimee from poachers in 2009 and returned her to Tia.  Toto could not have survived without his mother, and it was unlikely another lactating female would also be able to care for Toto.  We are now caring for Toto until he is old enough to go to a sanctuary or to be returned to his group.  There are many variables that will be considered in our decision, but Toto is doing fine so far.  We turned the lead care of Toto over to Janis Carter, an expert in caring for chimpanzees, but we continue to help in his care.  Janis runs the Baboon Islands Chimpanzee Sanctuary in The Gambia as well as conservation projects in Guinea and Senegal.  And, with the assistance of the Senegal government, we will all ensure Toto will have the best life possible for him. 

Our organization continues to expand, and we welcome these new opportunities and responsibilities - we look forward to a challenging but rewarding 2013!

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