Corrin LaCombe, founder of Primate Connections recently visited the Colobus Trust, here is what she has to say.
Spectacular! ‘Spectacular’ is actually the only word in all the English language that I can use to describe my visit to Colobus Trust. It was just that amazing. From freshly cooked meals, to witnessing incredible victories with Betsy, to being situated on a fabulous piece of property that opens to the most beautiful white sand beach I’ve ever seen. This is what the Colobus Trust is all about. That is……….. aside from their no-nonsense, impressive, essential, productive, and smart primate conservation activities of course!! Wow, is about all I can say.
We traveled via tuk-tuk down to the ferry dock in Mombasa, Kenya to cross Kilindini Port and land in Likoni. Upon landing in Likoni, we haggled with drivers and guides till we were granted a price that suited us all. We then set off to The Trust. We could tell that we were getting closer and closer to our destination as more and more colobridges began to appear. How clever these horizontal ladders are, and the monkeys are using them. Reducing roadside fatalities. Yippie! Amazing victory number 1!
Before we knew it, we were there, at the big front gate. “This is the place”, I told my friend with a smile. Soon Tony, a member of staff at Colobus Trust, came to greet us with a big ole smile and tons of knowledge. As he showed us around the facility the totality and awesomeness of the work being done at the Trust became increasingly apparent. “We’ll just walk here through the Education Center, pass the tree nursery, to the veterinary quarters, and then on to the enclosure area, to finish at the quarantine facility”. Really? I thought to myself. This place is amazing.
While on site, we chopped food (YUM – You should see what these guys get to eat) and cleaned cages. The Colobus Trust has established protocols that make caring for the monkeys easy and engaging. Which says quite a lot considering there are some 14 vervets, 5 Sykes monkeys and two bush babies plus the quarantine and veterinary animals to care for onsite! I have visited many primate conservation/rehabilitation facilities and this one is top-notch. I felt honored to be involved even if only temporarily.
As our time too quickly rolled on at the Colobus Trust, we watched in amazement as Betsy literally climbed to new heights, researchers captured valuable data, and on-site team members responded to welfare calls concerning injured and captive individuals. Now that’s what I call full-service primate conservation.
The Colobus Trust also promotes and sells ‘good-wood’ carvings. These carving look like the typical wooden carvings you’d see throughout the streets of Kenya, but these are special because they are made from sustainable, quick growing trees rather than native hard wood tree species. This allows the revenue stream for the cavers and the Colobus Trust to continue, and helps saves trees that the local biodiversity depend on. Brilliant.
We hadn’t been there long, but it was nonetheless hard to say goodbye – especially with the wild baboon troop impeding our walk through the gate!
If you’re interested in volunteering at a primate conservation/rehabilitation center, be sure to check this place out. I highly recommend it.
Sending my biggest ‘thank you’ to Andrea, Keith and the rest of the staff and volunteers at the Colobus Trust. I thank you for your hospitality and for the work that you do.