Now at Makumbi where I will be overseeing the building of new primate facilities for ZPP (Zambia Primate Project). In partnership with the Born Free Foundation, OAT have contributed to the build of 5 new quarantine enclosures and 2 main primate enclosures for ZPP.
ZPP rescue primates who are being illegally kept. They are sold into the illegal pet trade, tied up by owners for entertainment or to attract people to their businesses and are also kept / grown for bush meat. Once rescued by ZPP, they are treated by the vet and they then spend a period of time in quarantine camps before they go to the main enclosures (1 for monkeys & 1 for baboons) where they are rehabilitated.
Once this process is complete they are put into troops ready for the release phase. At Mvula Camp, the release site, they are monitored for about 6 months by a team of carers under the guidance of Cosmas and then eventually they are left to live out the rest of their lives back in the wild where they belong. The troop leader is collared so that for a period of time the success of the release can be monitored. So far they have 95% success rate. This all sounds very easy but I can assure you there is a lot involved, including dangerous confiscations and its a long road to freedom…Thank goodness there are people like Cosmas and his ZPP colleagues who dedicate their lives to this project and this is why we, OAT, are so passionate about supporting them.
Cant wait to go on my first rescue with Cosmas and there is apparently one in the pipeline…!