The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bristol Zoo Vet-Assisting Orphaned Chimpanzees and Gorillas

Thu, 3/12/2009 - 12:29 PM

By Lucy Parkinson

Bristol, UK - Bristol Zoo Gardens’ head vet returns from Cameroon trip working with orphaned primates

Bristol Zoo Gardens’ head vet, Sharon Redrobe, has just returned from a 10 day trip to a gorilla and chimp orphanage in the Cameroon.

Sharon visited Mefou National Park, run by conservation charity CWAF (the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund), where she provided veterinary guidance, support and training to staff and volunteers.

Mefou National Park consists of 1044 hectares of forest containing several large enclosures, home to around 17 young gorillas, 90 chimpanzees and 11 baboons.

It was a busy trip for Sharon who carried out routine health checks on the baboons, 10 infant Western lowland gorillas as well as numerous other animals. She also carried out primate dental procedures, trained staff in using vital medical equipment and helped move the 10 infant gorillas into a newly created, spacious enclosure in the forest.

Among her other patients was a one year old female chimp called Samboro. Samboro is recovering from meningitis but still suffers from related health problems, such as paralysis. Sharon worked with the CWAF team to take blood samples to trace the cause of the meningitis and to review Samboro’s diet and treatment.

Sharon, who has worked as a vet at Bristol Zoo for 10 years, said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to go out to the Cameroon and to be able to make such a big difference to the team out there, it was a real career highlight for me. Opportunities like this are the reason I became a vet.”

She added: “The team’s practical veterinary knowledge is good and they do a wonderful job. The trip gave me the opportunity to train them in using new medical equipment and techniques and to help them set up diet sheets to monitor the primates’ nutrition.”

Sharon would like to thank the following companies for lending equipment for her trip - Logiscan, Burtons UK, for ultrasound equipment and Vetronics UK for anaesthetic monitoring devices.

Mefou National Park is run by CWAF in conjunction with the Cameroon government. It also receives support from Bristol Zoo Gardens which regularly sends veterinary, education or zoo keeper staff to the project to lend their expertise and support.

CWAF works to protect apes from the illegal bushmeat and pet trades. Around 90 per cent of the chimpanzee population throughout Africa has already been lost due to illegal hunting and habitat loss, and it is feared that without major conservation effort all the chimpanzees and other apes in Cameroon could soon be wiped out.

CWAF’s work is funded entirely by donations and fundraising events. To find out more visit their website at To find out more about Bristol Zoo Gardens, and its work with CWAF, visit

Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund (CWAF)
* CWAF is committed to protecting Cameroon’s great apes through direct action.
* Its front line conservation work includes rescuing orphaned or injured great apes, providing individual care and giving them a safe forest sanctuary home where they can live with their own kind.
* CWAF also works directly with local communities to ensure they have a greater understanding of primates and the importance of their long-term protection, and to create suitable habitats where great apes can one day live peacefully in their natural environment safe from the threats of encroachment or poaching.
* For further information please visit

Bristol Zoo Gardens
* Bristol Zoo Gardens is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day.
* The Zoo is an Education and Conservation Charity and relies on the income from visitors to support its work.
* The Zoo is involved with over one hundred co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species.
* It employs 140 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work.
* Bristol Zoo Gardens supports – through finance and skill sharing - over 10 projects in the UK and abroad that conserve and protect some of the world’s most endangered species.
* Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.

Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur


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