Earlier today we received a special thank-you from our long-time friends at a wonderful primate sanctuary in Central Africa. The Limbe Wildlife Centre currently cares for more than 360 native Cameroonian wild animals. That includes about 240 primates: some 16 gorillas, 50 chimpanzees, and over 175 monkeys now call the place home. The LWC is also an important focal point for conservation education, via programs like in-school Conservation Clubs and guided tours and exhibitions.

Limbe thank you 

Thanks to more than two decades of hard work by Liza Gadsby, Peter Jenkins, and their staff, the LWC has come a long way from its origins as an under-funded, decrepit zoo. It is now a professionally-run facility that meets international standards of animal care.

Shirley remembers visiting the place along with IPPL board member Dianne Taylor-Snow in 1997: “At the time, three rescued baby gorillas were being cared for by the African staff and expatriate volunteers as well as an old mandrill, Man Alone, who had been kept alone in a tiny cage for years. There were also many rare monkeys, including impressive drills, spot-nosed guenons, and Preuss’s monkeys. We were impressed by the efforts under way—and by the distance the sanctuary had to go.”

This summer—as we have periodically in the past—we have been asking IPPL’s supporters to donate to the vital rescue and education efforts of the LWC. Cameroon has unfortunately been experiencing a rapid rate of deforestation; this may be contributing to the sudden influx of primate orphans at the center. In the first three months of 2013, the LWC saw a 267 percent increase in the number of primates arriving at their door, compared to the same period a year ago!

Pitchou and friends

Pitchou (center), here hanging out with a couple of her gorilla friends at the LWC, was the target of another successful fundraising effort by IPPL in 1998. When she was first rescued as a traumatized baby, she was covered with sores from ringworm. She is now one of the most well-adjusted females in the LWC’s gorilla group.

So far we have raised over $15,000, and we recently sent the LWC the first installment. And it’s not too late to contribute: please make a donation today, mark your gift “for LWC,” and 100 percent of your gift will go to our friends in Cameroon!