21 April 2011
Just as volunteer Carolien found time to relax at the lake after a very busy placement at the Centre, she was faced with a wildlife rescue! Carolien spotted a man with the baby baboon in a bar dancing to loud music and showing off to an unimpressed crowd. The orphan was certainly very distressed. ‘Nhkata’ had grown attached to the man who seemed to treat her like a toy and even though he was feeding and giving her enough water it was generally human food that was unsuitable for her delicate stomach. Babies like this also need a lot of sleep and it transpired that the man would take her out dancing to the local clubs every night. As a result of this malnutrition and exhaustion her mouth was full of ulcers and she was getting very weak.
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has a strong presence in the Central Region of Malawi and works closely with the Department of National Parks & Wildlife. However awareness in the North is much lower, and work still needs to be done with the local police on enforcing the law around the illegal bushmeat and pet trade. Carolien therefore had to be very careful in her negotiations and with the support of the local people she was eventually able to persuade the man to give up the orphan. This has been the second rescue at Nhkata in as many months - you may remember from previous blogs how traveller Brian was rescued orphan blue monkey Max - and we are hoping to do some outreach work there shortly.
On arrival back in Lilongwe, volunteer Anne-Marie took on the important job of surrogate mother to provide 24 hour care. Two weeks on and ‘Nhkata’ has grown so quickly, most noticeably with a full mouth of teeth and a prominent eyebrow! Unlike the flurry of orphaned vervets that were rescued before Christmas, she is the only orphaned baboon we have had this year and there are no young orphaned baboons to integrate her with. We will need to find a baboon surrogate mother very soon – fingers crossed we are as successful as we were with blue monkeys Max and Maggie.
‘Nhkata’ is only a temporary name! If you would like to choose her name, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask for a £100 donation in return to help towards her feed and initial veterinary care. We will also send you a certificate and adoption pack.