Sarah, one of our Eco-volunteers, wrote this blog about the successful treatment and release of an electrocuted Colobus monkey:
The rescue, rehabilitation and release of monkeys are some of the main goals governing the Colobus Trust. A few days ago, I had the privilege of witnessing the release of an adult colobus that the Trust rescued after it had been electrocuted. Electrocution is a big threat to the monkey population in Diani, because monkeys are not aware that wires carry electric current and walk on high voltage lines. Electrocuted monkeys can die immediately or, in an effort to soothe the pain, bite their wounds and an infection ends up killing them.
A Colobus doesn't survive its encounter with the wires
On Friday afternoon, someone called saying a Colobus had been electrocuted. We went to investigate and determined the Colobus needed medical attention. When examining his injuries we discovered that minor burns covered his hind legs and he had small, but severe, burns on his two front legs. We cleaned the wounds and the Colobus received anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory medicine before going into a large cage for monitoring.
By Monday the Colobus was ready to be released. The monkey was darted in the early morning to get him in the cage and by afternoon was fully awake and alert. Driving in the truck the monkey was unable to calm itself and destroyed various rags and leaves that were initially placed it its cage to keep it relaxed. Although the monkey’s state may sound upsetting, it shows he had certainly regained his strength. His reaction also indicates that he never became comfortable around humans, thereby maintaining his healthy fear of people. This fear is necessary for the Colobus and other monkeys’ survival as humans are the primary cause of the declining monkey population in Diani.
John and Peter prepare to release the Colobus
The Colobus was released where it had been captured. John, the Animal welfare officer, opened the cage door and stood back. The newly freed monkey ran out at full speed and immediately leapt into the nearest tree. He looked much happier than he had in days and appeared at ease in his familiar surroundings. We observed the monkey in its natural habitat for a few minutes before leaving. The Colobus did not immediately search for his troop but because we returned him to the troop’s home range, when he looked for them the Colobus would quickly rejoin his family. Watching the Colobus return to its natural habitat was truly inspirational and demonstrated the immense benefits for monkeys when living in their natural environments and territories.
The Colobus content back in his natural habitat
As some readers may be aware, Wildlifedirect are no longer going to be able to take donations through the website. Therefore if you’ve been thinking about donating something small or large to help the Colobus Trust, now is the time to do it! The function to donate on the website will close on the 30th March but we will still be blogging to let you know how we are getting on.
Thanks for your support and interest!