Fence Refurbishment Works Disrupt Chimpanzee Routine; Sara plans an escape route…
Sara at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
From the 17th July 2017, chimpanzees were retained inside the holding facility daily except for a few who could spend the day in the dusk enclosure. Those who were sent to the dusk enclosure included Connie, Nagoti, Ndyakira, Namukisa, Bahati, Nani, Medina, Cocoa, Nakuu, Sara, Eazy, Kazahukire and Billi. The selection was based on the Caregivers assumption that such individuals’ chances of escaping were minimal. However, the fence works were delayed, the chimps gradually got irritated before finally accepting their situation after about 10 days.
Those in the dusk enclosure were not entirely happy either, Sara became the master planner. One time, Sara got a brick and wedged it vertically beneath the chain link and the electric wire thereby creating space to squeeze through. She went through the fence on 3 different occasions and each time she went to the eastern side of the island to look at the area where the fence was under refurbishment, then proceeded to the garden where she always picked a fresh papaya before returning to the enclosure. This made all the other chimps in the enclosure believe that it was worth the effort despite the caregivers working on closing every escape point.
Sara made sure she opened up another route at different parts every time. On 26th June at around 5:00pm, Sara placed another brick vertically, held the wire up and successfully managed to aid five more chimpanzees escape from the dusk enclosure to the Eastern side of the forest as well as a few to the garden. Sara, Namukisa, Billi and Afrika went up to the forest while Nagoti and Bahati were unable to negotiate a route into the forest and remained stuck in the keeper service corridor. However, all those who escaped were managed well and returned to the enclosure.
To the caregivers and volunteers who were around, it was like the famous movie of "Prison Break" from the Dusk enclosure to the main forest.
Sustainable Living on Lake Victoria – New Bio Digester Toilet for Myende Community
Community toilet at Myende
Sanitation and hygiene are key challenges in many fishing communities of Lake Victoria including the Myende Community. Chimpanzee Trust solicited for funds from Born Free Foundation’s Global Friends program and Dr Nancy Merrick, for the community toilet facility to manage its sanitation and hygiene challenges. The community members, also fully participated in this project, by providing available material such as gravel, digging trenches and water.
Phase1: of the facility has been 100% finished to include; construction of the main structure, the plumbing works and painting.
Phase 2: will include the installation of the bio- digester and the water tank.
This facility, which includes 2 bathrooms, 7 toilet facilities for men and women will help ease sanitation challenge in the community. The facility will be exclusively managed by a selected committee from the community, with a fee levied to the community members for its usage.
Muhooro Town Human Wildlife Conflict
One of the victims
A one year old boy, Ahumuza Kyaligonza was seriously injured on Wednesday June 21, 2017 in Karusigwa East Village, Muhooro Town Council, Kagadi District after she was carried into the forest by a curious chimpanzee which subsequently was being chased by the community. The baby was carried from a spot at a garden where his mother, Tumuramwe Gorretti and other women were digging. The frequency in the overlap in needs of people and wildlife in Muhooro has increased in the last few months, with a two year old boy dying in May 2017.
Muhooro is a Suburban Town located in Kagadi District, and as such, has a relatively high population density. This has led to continuous forest degradation and deforestation in the area creating an overlap between the community and the chimpanzees. Muhooro Town is in a landscape with the highest deforestation rate of 8000 hectares lost per year.
The situation in Muhooro Town is critical for the conservation of chimpanzees living and depending on the last remaining fragmented forest patches within the sub-urban area.
The Chimpanzee Trust with other conservation partners calls out for support to engage the community in Muhooro Town to ensure that the community lives in harmony with our closest relatives the chimpanzees.