The Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga sanctuary in the Republic of Congo is Supporting the Reintroduction of wildlife with emphasis on Primates back Into the wild.

One of their undertakings is the care and rehabilitation of a number of rescued mandrills.

Mandrills are intelligent, social and one of the most colourful mammals in the world. Unfortunately, they are also endangered. Because of their beauty and docile nature, mandrills are often a target of poachers who take them from their forest homes and families only to sell them into the dangerous and illegal exotic pet market.

The Mandrill Release Program is a program which seeks to rehabilitate rescued mandrills and release them back into the forest where they belong. 

Several of these mandrills have been successfully released into the Conkouati-Douli National Park. This site was selected because the park is a protected area with active law enforcement.

Once the mandrills are released, they are closely monitored by Tchimpounga’s staff to ensure that the group remains healthy. Each mandrill is also fitted with a radio collar for long-term tracking.

So far in 2015, the Mandrill Release Program has been very successful. Early in the year, five male mandrills were released into the forest to join the eight mandrills that were released previously. All five new mandrills eased their way into the established release group with little stress or hesitation, and the group is now a cohesive whole.

Perhaps one of the best signs that a release has been successful is when new babies are conceived and born to members of the group once they are in the wild. This is why we are happy to report that Mbote, one of the young adult females in the release group, has given birth!

Mbote’s infant is the second baby born in the wild from the release group in two years. This is a great achievement, and it lets us know that these mandrills, 

rescued from confinement and solitude, are thriving in their new found freedom.

In order to ensure all individuals that arrive to the sanctuary have the opportunity to return to the wild, it is necessary to carry out extensive veterinary care and analysis. This includes quarantine, annual health checks, lab tests and where necessary preventative medicine and intervention procedures for each individual.

We are hoping to support the Mandrill release project with USD 5,000 per year. The donation will help with the purchase of radio collars, necessary for the post-release monitoring, and for allowances for the ecoguards – locals that know the release area perfectly well and are the best choice for monitoring the animals.