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Mission Caita: Chimpanzee Rescue and Law Enforcement Angola

Elephant Rescue Project and Orphanage Zambia
Species Conservation Chizarira National Park and Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

🌿💕August 22nd – We Remember Caita💕🌿

 

Wild@Life: “We started #missioncaita because of her.  Caita might be gone, but thanks to her, 10 other orphans have been saved and awareness towards primate conservation has been raised.  Caita is the martyr of an important cause and a true heroine.” ~~ Asli Han Gedik 🌿🌿

 

🌿In 2019 Caita was the victim of the illegal wildlife trade. She was caught in a rusty snare, and her mother killed in front of her. Poachers struck Caita across her back with an iron pipe, tied her up, and threw her in the trunk of a broken down car. Fortunately, she was rescued by Wild@Life and provided with much needed care in a valiant effort to save her. Caita got tetanus from the snare and two of her fingers needed to be removed. Her spirit was broken. After 11 days, she went into septic shock and passed away surrounded by those who cared for her.🌿

 

This little lady will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Angola’s most impressive natural resource is the Mayombe rainforest in the Northern Cabinda Province. The forest covers an average of 290.000 hectares. Mayombe is often described as the “Amazon of Africa”, hosting a remarkable variety of plant and animal species. Wildlife in Mayombe reserve includes mountain elephants or forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), gorilla, chimpanzee, crocodile, monkey, parrots and butterflies. However Mayombe is not just an amazing forest for animals, but also an enormous supplier of tropical hardwoods. There are many precious woods in the area, including ebony and a rare variety of mahogany. According to estimates, the forest supplies around 150.000 cubic meters of timber a year for the construction industry and export activity. Over the last year, with China being present more than ever in the region, and the illegal clearing of forest by various groups, the forest sees a high risk of deterioration. Located in the North between the village of Inhuca (Buco Zau Municipality) and the village of Miconje (Belize Municipality), Mayombe occupies most of the Northeastern Cabinda. The Forest Park Reserve was set up primarily to protect the wildlife population and flora, but the work done within the Reserve is not enough to make this happen, as poaching and bushmeat industry is notorious. Mayombe is a National Park and animals are protected under CITIES rules and agreements. The main species living in the area are mountain elephants, Western Lowland Gorilla, Chimpanzee and gray parrot. There is a plan to protect and conserve the forest, but no further movement has been done so far. The plan is lacking a decision making process and finances, as four countries are involved. Furthermore, there are absolutely no demographics on the fauna of the forest. It is even not possible to give estimation on the different populations inhabiting the area.
Mission Caita has two main goals.
 
Wild@Life is rescuing the primates in need, victim of wildlife trade and wildlife trafficking. For one infant chimpanzee to be abducted, 10 from the same family, including the mother, is being murdered. Chimpanzees are protective and they never hand their baby to the killers, and most of them get mudreder. The orphan is then sold to the bloody trade and ends up as a pet or entertainment animal. Wild@Life rescues and confiscates such traumatized animals and a long process of rehabilitation starts with us. As there is no sanctuary in Angola and setting up is very expensive, Wild@Life has an agreement with Congo JGI sanctuary and the team, after the rehabilitation phase, brings the primate to Congo. Due to the nature of such operations being costly and highly demanding, Wild@Life also works on the second goal: anti poaching and law enforcement. The Rangers are missing a considerable amount of technological and basic needs. Wild@Life patrols Mayombe Region. During such works we also bring poachers in for questioning, later imprisonment. Wild@Life supports the rangers financially and brings them the much needed forest and anti poaching gears within Mission Caita.
Mission Caita has been born from a juvenile poached chimpanzee we named Caita, that our team apprehended, tied in the trunk of a car. Poachers were going to sell her to the market. We have taken her to safety, she was traumatized . It’s unknown exactly how long Caita was held captive with the poachers and what other unsanitary conditions she was exposed to. She was starting to make progress by eating and drinking but then the tetanus took hold. Caita got her hand caught in a snare. The snare was rusty. As a result, she has contracted tetanus. All the vets could do for Caita is to treat the symptoms and hope that Caita is strong enough to fight the disease. She had the best care for her and two of her fingers trapped in the snare and got tetanus infected had been removed by surgery. BUT SHE DID NOT MAKE IT! Sadly her little body gave up to septic shock and we have lost her. Her burial was simple. She caught the attention of many around the world and she will never be forgotten. 

Caita

Caita

Caita is just one example of wildlife trafficking. For every baby chimpanzee torn away from wildlife, another average of 10 from the same family trying to save the baby is killed in the process. We have saved countless lives from horrific circumstances. Animals who were all taken from their families / homes in the wild by humans, to be sold to black market. They are sold for their flesh, their bones, their blood, their organs, their body parts. They are sold for humans to hold them captive for entertainment; many spending their entire lives trapped in tiny, filthy, barren cages. They are sold to zoos and man-made safari parks where humans pay to keep them trapped and away from everything that is natural to them. They are sold to laboratories where they’re tortured in the name of “science”. None of these animals belongs anywhere but in the wild with their families. The ones who are rescued from the evil grip of humans are given everything possible to keep them safe and their lives enriched in sanctuary but make no mistake, there is no replacement for their families and their wild homes. None.

Wild@Life is continuously operating the ground to rescue the victims of poaching. Our team has rescued many chimpanzees such as Jaoana and Riquita we have found living 20 years in chicken cages. Once sold by poachers, these two spent their entire lives in separate small cages. A plan was done by Wild@Life to save Joana, 21 and Riquita, 16, from this miserable condition. The partnership with Angolan Parks has come to a promising outcome and through Government negotiations, we could start planning for the girls to go to Congo, as the sanctuary has kindly accepted to take them in. The process between Governments, import export CITES papers, health checks and some logistics took more time but WE SAVED THE GIRLS! We managed to bring them to Congo, where they are now living in sanctuary.
 
Wildlife rescue never works as planned and the restaurant where the girls were kept had a baby girl chimpanzee of 6 months old, Cristina. Wild@Life assisted her as well and brought her to safety in Congo. 
Wild@Life has rescued many more chimpanzees in the region, like our girl Maiombe.
Maiombe

Maiombe

Maiombe

Wild@Life has discovered a backyard of a house in Cabinda, where 3 primates were held in rusty cages. Zeze, Zizi and Kuxie. Zeze had suffered a machete wound that left him blind, a bullet dodged in his testicular area and was severely malnourished. Zizi, malnourished herself, was trying to tend to her. We have taken the Ministry of Environment green light and came to rescue all 3 and brought them back to base camp where a long rehabilitation process started. They were terrified and really weak and even though we were scared Zeze might not survive, we never gave up. He was the worst case that the entire world had seen so far. We managed to bring him back to life and then his journey to Congo has started.
 

Zeze

Zeze Rescue

Zizi & Zeze

Zizi & Zeze

The base camp also has Jacka, amongst many others, our infant we rescued from a restaurant where he was held as a tourist attraction. We confiscated him swiftly once we found him there.

Jacka

Jacka

Rescue Day at Base Camp

Kuxie

Januairo

Kaliado

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Thank you for believing in us.

Asli Han Gedik

Wild@Life e.V.

Chairman