Monday, April 9, 2012
Monday April 9 Limbe, Cameroon Today I got my primate fix, at the Limbe Wildlife Center. Formerly a zoo, the wild life center is now home to orphaned gorillas, chimps, drills and mandrills. They are working on preparing chimps for rerelease into the wild, and expect to the first ones to be released in 2014. They will start working on releasing Drills after that. The drill troop has 83 members, the youngest being only 2 days old. Drills are illegally hunted with dogs. They are critically endangered, and they are hoping to repopulate the wild. Glen, the young man who showed us around is primarily an educator, as well as working with the animals. He was thrilled when I gave him some Internet resources, that were provided to me by Katie Manion of the education department at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Mandrills are a large monkey, that are more colorful than the drills. The mature males have bright red noses, and pink butts, definitely hard to miss. They look a bit like colorful baboons. The Limbe Botanical Gardens are huge, with many beautiful birds. we had an excellent guide, Benjamin, who pointed out numerous species of plants: hibiscus, cacao, coffee, tea, mango, papaya , teak, strangler figs, pepper, and perhaps the most unusual , a bitter cola that had a bright yellow and orange latex sap. Yet another wonderful day in this little visited corner of the world.