19 October 2010
Exciting news!! Two residents of Lilongwe Wildlife Centre are soon to be returned to the wild! Our very special bush baby, Yoda, is 10 months old this month, which means he is now old enough to be released, and Karen, one of our female Duiker, is due to be set free a couple of weeks later. What makes these two releases special is that they are both going to be set free into the wilderness area surrounding the Wildlife Centre - we don’t even have to say goodbye!
Both will be fitted with radio collars, and we are currently organising a team of volunteers to conduct the post-release monitoring and supplementary feeding of both animals. The volunteers will use GPS to locate and monitor them for a couple of months while they adjust to their new environment. Being nocturnal, Changa will have his checks at dawn and dusk, during which the volunteers will assess his body condition, make behavioural observations, and give him his supplementary food. He currently has a wild female bush baby visiting his cage at night, and we are hoping that they will form a pair once he is released! The duiker monitoring will be less intensive - only one check at midday along with her supplementary food. We may even come across her while walking along the wilderness trails! If all goes well, we will gradually reduce the supplementary food in order to encourage them to forage for natural foods.
Check back here in a few weeks for the release photos and an update on how everything is going!
For more information on volunteering at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, please visit www.lilongwewildlife.org/volunteer.htm