Primate rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary

A P E S

animal protection & environmental sanctuary

A non-profit organisation specialising in Primate rehabilitation and rescue,
based in Kwazulu Natal - South Africa

 

 

APES CHATTER 2006:

 



 

 

It is difficult to believe it is nearly the end of July, time has certainly run away from us. So much has happened since I last put pen to paper so to speak. Not all happy happenings I’m sorry to report. Gungy the goat passed away having contacted a virus too; both goats will always have a special place in our hearts. The good points from these tragic deaths is that the community are beginning to understand why we are educating them on the importance of “environmental control” throwing plastic bags, badly opened cans, broken glass etc in their immediate area/s these can cause serious damage and death, to animals and humans alike. Their animals are their wealth so they appreciate how much they can lose financially by their stock losses, due to neglect and not caring about the immediate surroundings Twinkles also passed away, she was an old lady and also very special. Thankfully she wasn’t ill but died of old age.

The buck visiting us now have increased to 5, and can often be seen early morning in the garden. We have seen the brown squirrels too and very recently 2 Spoonbills have been visiting the dam. Grounded Hornbill are often see as well as the Trumpeter Hornbills, usually 13 can be heard with their unusual laughter sounding calls, it is amusing if you mimic them they reply. Now to the Vervets, Again sadly I have to report on the disappearance of our Alpha male N2, we are pretty sure he is dead. One morning we had to leave early and there was a great deal of chatter but on investigation we couldn’t see anything, but on our return he was no where to be see and surprise, surprise we had been robbed, the workers here are convinced that who ever robbed use must have used a catapult to kill him. N2 was our “alarm system” any stranger, dogs, cows or humans he would bark a warning. It was heart warming, as even the police were upset, as they knew him too. Our wild monkeys are visiting regularly now especially as its winter and food is very scarce. We throw out the leftovers from our troop and of course yours truly always sneaks extras. Of course we do not put food out when they are around, as we do not want them to associate humans as a source of food.

There are two troops, one of which 35+ strong and in that troop there are 3 of our previous rescued monkeys, Sunny, Precious and London, all now totally wild and doing well. The other a much smaller troop has 14+, one that we have named Halftail, a male what happened to the other half of his tail? perhaps a trap, shot off while trying to avoid a farmers bullets we will never know! Unfortunately East our young man who left the “Lame & Lazy”enclosure and joined the wild troop, he came back rather worse for wear. It was during the mating period and he obviously thought he could do as he pleased then got punished. Anyway with doctoring and care he is fit and well and a little wiser thank goodness. He is now the Beta male of our training troop and Bobby who was 2nd in command to N2 has taken over as the alpha male, not as strong as N2 but showing signs of improving. Star is still adorable with his over-hanging lip. He is the gang leader of the juveniles of our troop; he still has very strong ties with Paddy and East. It is also very obvious that he is definitely not going to be a high ranking male adult, as he has to wait his turn if the older monkeys are eating but East and Star’s “gang” have their own feeding area and protect this together, but again if one of the older troop come they move off.

We have another addition to our family, Phil, Mandy’s son, he is ridiculously small, but again he has a heart of a lion. Phil adores swimming even when its a fairly cool day, Stylo, an infant brought in by one of our Trustees, Paddy G. She found him clinging to the body of his dead mom, in Amanzimtoti Durban, she had obviously been killed by dogs and her infant son also had bite wounds, but not too serious thank goodness .he is loveable but a very stroppy young monk, Stylo also has a friend called Snip, he is from a place called Mooi River (it means Pretty River) in the Midlands area of KZN He was found by some people who brought him to us. Snip, is rather a small monk in stature but also a darling. It’s sad that we do not know what happened to him mum, most likely killed, as a mother monkey does not leave her infant willingly and sometimes even if the infant is dead she will carry it until nothing is left. Another new arrival, brought to us by a S.A.P. (S.A.Police) member who confiscated him from an African who had killed the mother and eaten her, Lokie was tied with wire around the waist and the scares are still visible. He was fed maize meal and Coke,Lokie was so thin and obviously under- nourished. He did not know what milk was! It took us a while to get him to eat fruit and drink milk, though still very small he is well and happy. Thank you and bless you Estelle for caring. The “Three Monkteers” now spend all day out in their outside enclosure, and only come in at night as it is still too cold for them to sleep outside, even though they do have a special box in their enclosure as added protection. It is comical to see them when its time to come in.


When either Rod or myself go out with their basket, hold the door open and without hesitation all three dive in. The same happens in the mornings when it is time to go out. Its amazing how quickly they learn. At present they are also making friends through the wire of their enclosure with the training troop especially Karen (beta female) and Mandy (alpha female), who both groom the youngsters. As soon as its summer these three and the two others, Les and Effa will join them in the big wide world. We have also been involved ion the rescue of a female monkey, named Halftail by one of our v very caring helpers Elise S, who reported her serious injuries, some she had for a long time, this was made obvious when we captured her. Halftail, is a total free wild animal and not always at Elise’s home, (on a farm about 25kms from us), capturing her took a long time. With patience and trust on behalf of Elise, she was finally caught and taken to our local vet, on sedating her Helen found that she had at one stage been caught in a snare, which had wrapped around her waist and in time part of her flesh had grown over the snare. While this was happening this poor primate had tried and was successful in removing the snare but in the process broke most of her teeth, and being an elderly female her teeth were not that strong either. Helen the vet decided to operate, and then found that the stomach had attached itself to the flesh of her skin, (wonders of nature) anyway painstakingly the wound was repaired with 24 stitches, a wonderful job, well-done Helen. We then took Halftail back to Elise’s farm, where she was put into a “hospital room” until recovered enough to be returned back to her family. Elise also made an extra room for Halftail so she was able to see her family and make contact with them while recuperating from her ordeal. We at APES can only say, Bless you Alize and family and also to Helen the vet, for your caring and dedication, we only wish there were more people like you out there.


MFENI THE INFANT BABOON;


A few months ago we were privaled to be asked to look after a 3-week-old baboon, we named him Mfeni, meaning baboon in Zulu. This bundle of joy did not have a very good introduction to life I’m afraid. His mother had been killed in Hluhluwe a small town very close to a nature reserve in northern KZN. He was barely a few days old at that time, he then was confiscated from an African man, and taken to the local State vetinerarian, where the assistant there Santa (an angel) we think, would not allow him to he euthanised as suggested by the local parks official, she, unable to keep him more than a week or so, contacted us and 2 of our volunteers drove up to Richards bay and collected him. From the time he arrived he stole our hearts, as well. He was all ears and pink skin with silky black fur, he hands had a distinctive feature 2 extra little fingers, each had a nail but no bones, but were just dangling on the side, as they didn’t cause him any discomfort we decided to let them stay, as his special trade mark! It was extremely difficult not to want to cuddle him constantly. Infact I had to be rather strict with the volunteers and us in this regard. He arrived with an elephant toy hot water bottle, numerous baby toys, dummy, baby formula, baby cereal, vitamins, feeding bottles etc. Santa had been his saviour in many ways. She was broken hearted when she handed him over, understandably so. Well he soon settled in, went to bed with the 3 vervets at night cuddled in and was soon at home. He started to develop endearing habits, rushing up to you bandy back legs and all, his mouth open wide and would in his own way kiss you. He was ticklish and would make squeaky noises and loved to be held up in the air, and would keep on like any human child, wanting more and more. When he missed me or didn’t see me he would make a whooping noise getting louder and louder, this only stopped if he found me, he would then cling to my leg until I picked him up. As he got older he became more independent, and spent time outside with his favourite dog, Dingbat, usually riding on Dingbat’s back, as if riding a horse. (This infant baboons do with their mothers as they get older).Mfeni enjoyed playing and chasing the vervets too, the younger vervets used to play with him as well, he actually lost one of his extra little fingers while climbing a log while playing with Star, one of the juvenile vervets, there were no ill effects thank goodness. As do human infants get tired and irritable so did he, he would only go to sleep in the beginning if he was wrapped like a new born human, but as he got older he preferred to be covered, had his dummy and cuddled his favourite blanket, or my jersey, which he claimed as his own. He much preferred to sleep on top of Dingbat during the day.


Well we all knew this had to end as much as we would have loved him to stay with us until it was time for him to leave with a baboon family, unfortunately for us, not for Mfeni, we took him to CROW as they have baboons there waiting for release, and even though he was very young 12 weeks old at the time it was felt as there was a surrogate baboon mum, who loved bringing up babies he would be better to go while quite young, enabling him to settle quicker. Unfortunately this mum didn’t have milk, so he still has to have his usual formula at least 4 or 5 times a day being fed by one of the CROW helpers. We of course would have loved to continue until he didn’t need a bottle anymore at plus minus 10 months but it wasn’t to be. The most heart warming part of this is that one of the worker’s here Mandla Ntuli the foreman, asked me to please take him to see his “son” Mfeni, as he wanted to see for himself that Mfeni was alright, this I have promised to do. On asking what was he going to tell his employer, when taking the day off as it is a long way from us, at least 3 hours there and 3 hours back, his reply was and I quote, “I really have to go to Tekweni to see a specialist, I’m sick’ (Tekweni is Zulu for Durban) I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been to CROW since I left him screaming for me, and of course both of us close to tears. We have been in contact with them there and they tell me he is happy and settled, and the baboon mum loves him, even though he still has to come out of his new home to be fed. One of our Volunteers Claire, who fell in love with our bundle of joy too, went to see him on her way back to the UK, she reported back to us that he was fit and well, she too shed many a tear on his departure from APES. We hope and pray that he and his new family will be released on our new home at Zingela when it comes for them to be set free once again. We will tell you more in the next CHATTER.

We appeal yet again for any help you can give to help us with our new project,Zingela. Some of you might wonder what is going to happen to this place, well its rather exciting really we intend to continue operating a satellite so to speak, this will eventually be run by one of our members plus we are hoping somewhere out there, there is a person who would like to be train to continue our work ad infanitem, how’s that for a challenge? If there is any way you can help us to make this dream come true, please contact us either on e-mail apes1@gom.co.za. Or mobile 072 306 5664, our postal address is P.O. Box 123 MUDEN 3251 KZN. S.A.
There have been some exciting contacts made as well this year, we had DISCOVERY CHANNEL here to do a story for the “DIRTY JOBS” SERIES this will be shown some time in August this year. We are also going to have CHANNEL 4 from the UK coming out in September to do a series for their programme MICHAELA’S WILD WORLD. There was also an interview on a local radio station called HIGHWAY RADIO with yours truly, I’m told this went off very well and await the arrival of a C.D made of the programmed as well. All very exciting and this can only help make people more aware of our vervets , and hopefully make difference as well.


Thank you all for caring.
ALL AT APES.

 


APES Chatter 4
Special thanks
Call-outs
Mimi
Loo
Kate
Gizzmo
Magnificent 7
Steven
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ADDENDUM To APES
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Chatter 2006
Chatter 2005
Chatter 3
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Chatter 1


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Apes, 2006         last updated  August 16, 2006            webmaster