SeaWorld Busch Gardens supports Mangabey rehabilitation programme
We are delighted to announce that CERCOPAN has been awarded a Seaworld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Grant to support our Red Capped mangabey rehabilitation programme in Rhoko forest, as well as preparatory work for upcoming releases in the area. In Rhoko, a group of 54 red-capped mangabeys live in a 1-hectare, open-topped enclosure. A subset of this group is destined for release in the community forest once all necessary preparations and health checks have taken place. The majority of the group once lived in the wild, ending up in captivity after their mothers were shot for the bushmeat trade. Ultimately, wherever possible, our goal is to return these primates back to the wild where they belong, thereby greatly improving animal welfare and restoring historically depleted primate populations in the area.
In preparation for the future reintroduction, our local Mangabey research assistant Akposi collects daily behavioural data on each individual primate to establish which animals will make the most suitable release candidates. At the same time, our forest patrols work tirelessly to ensure that the forest is free from the threat of primate hunting so that when we are ready to release the group, we can guarantee it is into a safe environment. Finally, our Education Officer Mike Ekpe works with the communities, raising awareness and offering alternative sources of income and protein to reduce pressure on forest resources and provide alternatives to the hunting of primates and other protected animals. This integrated approach is critical to restore historical primate population numbers in the area. We are very grateful that Seaworld Busch Gardens has chosen to support this important project.